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    Orange County Regional Airport Authority -- Comprised of 14 North OC Cities -- Backs L.A. Bid to Operate El Toro As Comm'l Airport; We Post Resolution

    (June 17, 2003) -- The Orange County Regional Airport Authority (OCRAA), a joint powers authority comprised of 14 north Orange County cities (listed below), has adopted a resolution urging the U.S. Dept of Transportation and U.S. Dept of the Navy to seriously consider the request by the City of Los Angeles to operate the former military airport at El Toro as a commercial airport. posts the OCRAA resolution verbatim, below.

    OCRAA is comprised of the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Habra, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Placentia, Seal Beach, Stanton, Villa Park. Westminster and Yorba Linda.

    [begin text]




    WHEREAS, THE Orange County Regional Airport Authority (OCRAA) Amended and Restated Joint Exercise Powers Agreement (JPA) states that the primary objective of the Authority is to actively participate in the El Toro reuse planning process that supports a commercial aviation reuse of El Toro; and

    WHEREAS, OCRAA is a JPA composed of 14 cities in Orange County representing over 2 million Orange County residents; and

    WHEREAS, OCRAA has, since 1974, actively pursued the search for, selection, acquisition, and operation by a competent authority, of a suitable site for a commercial airport that meets Orange County’s air transportation (passenger and cargo) demand in a responsible manner; and

    WHEREAS, the current and future air passenger air cargo needs of Orange County far exceed the present or future capacity of John Wayne Airport (JWA), and no feasible airport site exists in Orange County other than the facilities located at the former Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), El Toro; and

    WHEREAS, Orange County’s economy is heavily based on trade, tourism, and technology, and these industries cannot prosper without modern air passenger and air cargo service convenient to Orange county residents and business owners; and

    WHEREAS, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) approved the SCAG 2001 Regional Transportation Plan (SCAG 2001 RTP) update that includes El Toro as a commercial airport; and

    WHEREAS, OCRAA has adopted a resolution supporting the SCAG approach to a regional solution for Southern California air commerce demand; and

    WHEREAS, the citizens of Orange County would lose the opportunity for 68,000 jobs, $7 billion in economic activity, and $450 million in annual state and local government tax revenues from a profitable commercial airport operation at El Toro; and

    WHEREAS, the failed attempt by a terrorist to cross the border from Canada in 1999 to blow up Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), followed by the actual terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, clearly demonstrate terrorist intentions to devastate the regional and national economy, and more importantly, the need for additional airport sites with sufficient capacity to ensure the Southern California region’s ability to continue to move passengers and cargo in the event of a temporary, or extended, shut down of LAX; and

    WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles, the owner and operator of four airports in the Southern California region, has capped airport capacity at LAX to 78 million annual passengers, leaving a regional shortfall of 50 million air passengers in the year 2025, and

    WHEREAS, the Mayor of Los Angeles has asked the Department of Transportation to take over the property at El Toro, and lease it to Los Angeles, which would operate the airport, and

    WHEREAS, local elected officials such as Representative Jane Harmon (D-Venice) who states that Southern California residents must share the "burdens and benefits" of increased air travel, Mayor Todd Ridgeway of Newport Beach, who states that the air transportation issue is "regional not local" and that "only elected and government can make courageous decisions to solve these problems," and Anaheim Councilwoman Shirley McCracken’s statement that the proposal to operate the airport at El Toro by Mayor Hahn of Los Angeles would solve a regional problem, are examples of leadership necessary to resolve this issue; and

    WHEREAS, the economic need for additional airport capacity at El Toro for Orange County far outweighs the "need" for additional "parkland" in a community that has approximately one-third of its jurisdiction dedicated to open space.


    The Orange County Regional Airport Authority calls upon the Department of Transportation, and the Department of the Navy to provide a fair hearing of the request by the City of Los Angeles to operate a commercial airport at El Toro by taking into consideration the transportation needs of the region, the economic benefits of an airport at El Toro to the local, state and national economy, and the benefits of an airport at El Toro to homeland security.

    OCRAA calls upon its Member Cities to adopt similar resolutions of support for operation of a commercial airport at El Toro.

    Approved by the Board of Directors of the Orange County Regional Airport Authority at a regular meeting held on June 11, 2003:

    s/ Lydia Sondhi, Chair, Orange County Regional Airport Authority

    Related coverage:

    State Senator Kevin Murray (D., Los Angeles) Introduces Resolution Backing L.A.'s Offer To Operate El Toro As Commercial Airport; We Post Text

    Dissenting OC Supervisors Smith & Silva Send Letter to U.S. Trans. Sec'y Mineta Applauding L.A. Proposal To Operate Airport @ El Toro; We Post Letter

    OC Supervisors Vote 3-2 To Remove Pro-El Toro Airport Supervisor Smith As OC SCAG Rep...And Replace Him With Anti-El Toro Airport Supervisor Norby OC Bd. of Supes Votes 3-2 To Send Letter to U.S. Trans. Sec'y Mineta Blasting L.A. Proposal To Operate Airport @ El Toro; We Post Letter

    OC Cong. Chris Cox -- South of OC Cong. Rohrabacher -- Reacts To L.A. Proposal To Operate Comm'l Airport @ El Toro; We Post Statement Verbatim

    LA Airport Agency Seeks To Operate El Toro As Airport; LB-HB Cong. Rohrabacher Supports Plan Subject To OC Voter Approval; We Post L.A.'s 37-Page Legal Brief Style Memo

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