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John Wayne Airport

VFR Procedures

I.      Airspace: John Wayne airport is governed by Class C airspace. The footprint is irregular in shape and requires study to ensure compliance.

  • A.   All Class C operations require Mode C Transponder operation and two-way radio communication with appropriate facility.
    • 1.     Surface Area: controlled by the John Wayne Tower on one of two frequencies (East and West).
    • 2.     Outer portions: belong to “SoCal Approach,” a TRACON.
  • B.    Class C operations require two additional radio calls when compared to standard Class D.
    • 1.     Arriving VFR pilots, regardless of point of origin, must establish contact with SoCal before entering the Class C. Frequencies are shown on the LA Area and Sectional charts.
    • 2.     Departing VFR pilots must obtain departure instructions prior to contacting Ground control.
      • a.     The VFR “Clearance” frequency is 121.85.
      • b.     The same controller works IFR Clearance Delivery on 118.0, so care must be taken to avoid conflicts when it becomes clear an IFR pilot will be making a response not audible on the VFR frequency.
      • c.       There are only four possible VFR departure headings. If you have forgotten these options, simply tell Clearance your desired destination.
        • (i)    080° (“El Toro”)
        • (ii)  150° (“Newport”)
        • (iii)  220° (“Mesa”)
        • (iv)  330° (“Orange”)
    • 3. Departing pilots who wish to discontinue radar service at the edge of the Surface Area and remain below the outer portions of the C airspace should request a "Local," avoiding mention of a destination and use of the term "Departure." Example: "5535K would like an El Toro Local."
    • 4. Departing pilots who wish continuing radar service beyond the Surface Area should request a "Departure" and specify a destination. Example: "5535K would like an El Toro Departure to San Diego."
  • C. The John Wayne Class C closes when the tower shuts down for the night. Airspace at and above 700' AGL reverts to Class E. Below, the airspace reverts to Class G.

II.    Ground Operations:

  • A.   John Wayne has two parallel runways.
    • 1.     19R (1L) is 5800’ long. It serves the west side of the airport and all larger airplanes.
    • 2.     19L (1R) is 2800’ long. It serves the east side of the airport and cannot handle large aircraft.
  • B.    There are two major taxiways, roughly parallel to the runways.
    • 1.     Alpha on the east side
    • 2.     Bravo on the west side
    • 3,     Both major taxiways are commonly shared by opposite direction traffic when authorized by Ground.
  • C.    Most General Aviation businesses are located at the south-east corner of the field.

III. Noise

  • A. John Wayne has fairly strict noise abatement rules. Careful study is necessary to avoid violation in high-powered propeller airplanes.
    • Daytime operations are unlikely to cause problems for all but turbojet aircraft.
    • Night and early morning departures can be a problem.
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