Airplane Noise and Traffic

What can I do about the noise from aircraft?
If you are concerned about noise from jets and large commercial planes, you can contact the John Wayne Airport Access and Noise Office at (949) 252-5185, send an email to or visit their website.

Air Flight tracks can be checked by using John Wayne Airport’s "Airport Monitor". For additional information regarding air traffic noise please refer to the Questions and Answers report prepare by the John Wayne Airport Access & Noise Office. 

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Is there a curfew at John Wayne Airport?
The John Wayne Airport Settlement Agreement approved in 1985 and extended in 2003, establishes nighttime curfews, special departure procedures, and other operational procedures for the loudest commercial aircraft Class A or Class E.   The curfew hours for departures are from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. (8:00 a.m. on Sundays) and for arrivals are from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. (8:00 a.m. on Sundays). 

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When does the John Wayne Airport Settlement Agreement expire?
The Settlement Agreement is currently set to expire on December 31, 2015 with the exception of the “curfew” provision that will expire no earlier than December 31, 2020. The Settlement Agreement is the product of a settlement of a lawsuit against the County of Orange, proprietor of John Wayne Airport by the City of Newport Beach, the Airport Working Group (AWG) of Orange County, Inc., and a local environmental group, Stop Polluting Our Newport (SPON).  The settling parties began negotiating in early 2012 a possible extension of the Settlement Agreement.  On April 16, 2013, the Orange County Board of Supervisors authorized execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Newport Beach, SPON and AWG.  The MOU defines the procedures, roles and responsibilities with respect to the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act.   

On May 23, 2014, the County of Orange released the Draft Environmental Impact Report 617 (Draft EIR) for the John Wayne Airport Settlement Agreement Amendment Project.  Please click here to read the document.  The Draft EIR and technical appendices are available for public review at the City of Laguna Beach City Clerk’s Office and the Laguna Beach Public Library at 363 Glenneyre Street.  Please refer to the JWA May 23, 2014 press release for other locations in Orange County.  Comments on the Draft EIR will be accepted until 5:00 pm on July 8, 2014.  Please review the JWA press release for instructions on how to submit your comments.  We encourage you to review the Draft EIR and offer comments within the 45-day comment period, which starts today. 

In April 2014, the City Council authorized the City Manager to retain the services of consultant Robert Burnham to assist the City review of the Draft EIR.  Recommendations will be presented to the City Council on June 17, 2014.

The County of Orange will hold two public meetings to provide information about the structure and content of the Draft EIR and to explain the process by which the public can access the document and provide input to the County of Orange.  Please refer to the JWA press release for detail information.  The dates and locations are as follows:

  • The first meeting will be held on May 28, 2014, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Hewes Middle School located at 13232 Hewes Avenue in North Tustin.
  • The second meeting will be held on May 29, 2014, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at John Wayne Airport’s Administrative Office located at 3160 Airway Avenue in Costa Mesa.

Members of the public may submit oral or written comments at these meetings.  More information about the Settlement Agreement and the environmental review of proposed amendments to the Settlement Agreement is provided at

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Why is there airplane traffic during the middle of the night?
Commercial aircraft flying over Laguna Beach after 10:00 p.m. are probably flights arriving at the Los Angeles International Airport. These flights can be confirmed by checking flight tracks using JWA's Airport Monitor.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Noise Management Department provides residents with a number of options to submit complaints about airport noise.  If you wish to submit a noise complaint by telephone, please call the (424) 646-6473. Online complaint forms are available on their web site. A LAWA Community Roundtable meets once a month to discuss noise concerns and discuss courses of action. Their monthly reports are posted on their website.

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Who makes decisions about the departure procedures?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the statutory responsibility and primary mission to promote safety, efficiency, and provide for the safe use of airspace. The FAA has the sole authority to control air traffic. Neither the City of Laguna Beach nor the State of California can regulate the altitude, speed, direction, or location of aircraft in flight.

The FAA investigates citizen complaints of low-flying aircraft operated in violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations and noise complaints. Contact the local FAA Flight Standards District Office in Long Beach at (562) 420-1755 to file a complaint of low-flying aircraft. Ask for the Operations Officer on Duty. To file an aircraft noise complaint, click here to send an email to the FAA Aviation Noise Ombudsman in Washington DC.

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Where can I find information about departure procedures from John Wayne Airport?
Airspace control and management is the sole responsibility of the FAA. Any change in departure or arrival flight paths can only be approved, and implemented, by the FAA.

The FAA implemented a new Area Navigation (RNAV) departure procedure call "STREL" on March 10, 2011. The purpose of the new procedure is to center departures over Newport Bay and also to make aircraft moving east of Las Vegas more efficient.

Frequently asked questions about STREL prepared by John Wayne Airport staff are available on their website.

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