Marvin Smith, Dana Point

My first thought after reading “Hundreds of South OC Residents Gather to Discuss Life ‘Under the Flight Path,’” (The Capistrano Dispatch, May 26-June 8) was, “Air traffic noise? What noise?” Maybe I’ve failed to notice over the prevailing and ever-present hum of the 5 freeway. Or possibly I’ve been deafened by the growing number of Harley riders trying to outrace middle-age. Then there’s the cacophony of leaf blowers that now compete with songbirds for who will signal the start of a new day. And skateboarders…well, never mind. You get the point. These are sounds now endemic to life in SoCal.

John Wayne Airport didn’t just rise up from the ground. It probably predates most of the affected houses and their residents. No doubt, air traffic has increased—as it has in most economically vital areas of the country. (Ah, remember the peace and quiet of the Great Recession?) But according to Supervisor Todd Spitzer, it’s those greedy and callous airlines that are ruining the quality of life in the OC. All in the name of efficiency, heaven forbid!

Then Supervisor Lisa Bartlett invoked the name of the devil himself, the FAA—a.k.a the federal government. (Cue the hisses!) Of course those bureaucrats could “probably” fix the flight path problem, as they confided to Bartlett. But why would they? At least not without the heroics of our county supervisors.

And in the process, if successful, Supervisors Bartlett and Spitzer will find a way to drive up the costs of serving JWA. While pushing the flight noise problem elsewhere, along with the economic benefits of those flights.

Fifteen years ago the voters of OC were offered a new airport at El Toro and shot it down in order to build the Great Park. Well, the Not-So-Great Park. The most organized and vocal opposition to a new airport came from South County communities—no doubt, many of the same folks who are now complaining about increased noise from JWA. My recommendation: consider relocating to some of the abundant and peaceful spaces in the Great Park.

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