John Wayne Airport asks airways to restrict flights

John Wayne Airport asks airways to restrict flights


  • John Wayne Airport is asking airways to scale back flights and capability for the remainder of 2023 resulting from reaching annual passenger caps.
  • The airport has operated beneath a authorized settlement since 1985, with amendments permitting it to deal with 11.8 million passengers yearly till December 31, 2025.
  • Alaska Airways Group, which incorporates Alaska Airways and Horizon Air, is downgrading plane and canceling flights to adjust to capability restrictions.

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John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, insists that airways restore flights and capability for the remainder of 2023. In response, Alaska Air acted rapidly to scale back capability.

In response to its official web site, John Wayne Airport (SNA) has been working since 1985 beneath a authorized settlement with Orange County, Newport Seaside, and the neighborhood organizations Airport Motion Group and Cease Polluting Our Newport. Since then, the settlement settlement has been amended by mutual settlement between all events a number of occasions, most notably in 2003 and 2014.

The present Section 2 2014 Settlement Settlement amendments permit 11.8 million passengers per yr to enter by means of airport gates yearly till December 31, 2025. For the reason that SNA has reached its restrict, SNA administration has reached out to airways to tell them of the necessity to scale back plane capability or Begin shedding slots.

Picture: Joe Kunzler | Easy flying

One should keep in mind that SNA is positioned in the course of an city space and may be very delicate to plane noise, and its most important runway is simply 5,700 ft lengthy – barely shorter than most industrial airport runways. Nonetheless, SNA’s perseverance comes from makes an attempt to accommodate neighborhood considerations whereas offering high-quality service.

737s at SNA gates in front of the Delta A220 stand - 4x6

Picture: Joe Kunzler | Easy flying

As AnnaSophia Cervin, an airport spokeswoman, defined to the Orange County Register,

“The present state of affairs, attributable to traditionally excessive passenger numbers and considerations about approaching the MAP (a million annual passengers) restrict, is exclusive to the continuing restoration from the COVID-19 pandemic and has not been seen earlier than.”

One may add that the Pacific Air Present every fall in close by Huntington Seaside could improve demand for flying to SNA. However finally, as airport supervisor Katrina Foley reported within the Orange County Register,

“It is excellent news. Journey is again. Persons are flying. Persons are visiting. Vacationers are coming out and in of the neighborhood. However the concern is how can we keep the utmost variety of passengers in order that we do not have to cancel flights as a result of which may disrupt folks’s vacation plans.”

So, let’s check out how one main US airline responded.

How is Alaska Air responding?

The Alaska Airways group consists of each the flagship Alaska Airways and the regional subsidiary Horizon Air. Final week’s Alaska Pilots Podcast touched on this matter.

As union scheduling committee chair Scott Rubin defined, this was a capability difficulty, and the flights could possibly be canceled — almost definitely operated by Horizon Air or maybe contracted by SkyWest Airways — each of which use 76-seat Embraer E175 plane. Rubin defined that it was a capability difficulty — once more, because of the cap — and that the airline would attempt to resolve the issue by downgrading the 737-800s to 737-700s in addition to canceling Horizon Air and SkyWest Airways flights if essential. Under is a desk evaluating the seating capability of the 737-800 and 737-700:

Unpacking Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 N514AS 16x9

Picture: Joe Kunzler | Easy flying

Sitting class









Economic system






As we will see, this implies shedding 35 seats and downgrading every flight to the 737-700. Nonetheless, the creator was just lately in a position to fly financial system on an Alaska Airways 737-700 and benefit from the small however highly effective plane.

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-700 N607AS at SNA Gate - 4x6

Picture: Joe Kunzler | Easy flying

Finally, because the Alaska Air Group newsroom defined to Merely Flying, administration has formulated an answer for the 2023 vacation season.

To assist SNA stay in compliance and keep its dedication to mitigating noise from its plane operations, airways have been required to scale back capability (seats) on flights till 31 December 2023. We’ve carried out the reductions, which had been accomplished on the finish of final week. Affected passengers touring to and from John Wayne Airport – Orange County had been routinely re-accommodated on alternate flights the place accessible or had been refunded if requested. We’ve labored carefully with our affected friends to make sure they’ll safely attain their family members this vacation season and apologize for any inconvenience they could have skilled. Our schedule will return to regular on January 1, 2024.

Backside line: What about 2024?

Good query. Demand for flying has elevated throughout the nation, and SNA is a neighborhood airport with quick safety and decrease congestion danger than its neighbor Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX). Therefore the rise in visitors, even after cuts made by Southwest Airways in November 2022. There was a proposal to transform a Marine Corps air station right into a civilian airport to resolve the capability difficulty, however most capability was not in danger on the time.


The failed proposal to exchange John Wayne Airport with the conversion of a close-by naval base

The proposal sparked native controversy.

John Wayne Airport Director Charlene Reynolds defined that notable voluntary compliance by some airways — akin to Alaska and Delta Air Strains — was not sufficient for the autumn towards the danger of fifty,000 to 75,000 passengers exceeding the cap that might put the way forward for the SNA earlier than the USA. Courts. As airport spokesperson Severin additionally shared with Easy Flying, so is SNA “Handle the state of affairs successfully” By evaluating the info as obtained and “adapting” the airport technique.

Shutterstock_1666141843 - SANTA ANA, CA/USA - 03/02/20: A Southwest Airlines airliner takes off at John Wayne Airport with planes and buildings in Irvine, California in the distance

Picture: J. Armstrong Pictures | Inventory battle

The query is what’s going to SNA and US airline leaders do to higher handle SNA capability limits to have a sustainable quantity of capability inside legally binding limits? Or will the SNA have its capability cap just like the capability cap of Schiphol Airport within the Netherlands that was cancelled?

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