Sept. 16, 2005 marked 15 years since the opening of the Thomas F. Riley Terminal at John Wayne Airport. On that day, JWA employees and volunteers hosted a “Day of Thanks” and handed out promotional items and refreshments to passengers. Visitors and passengers visited a number of anniversary tables set up throughout the terminal, submitted entries into an opportunity drawing, and had the chance to win a variety of prizes including gift baskets, hotel stays and airline tickets (Frontier and Southwest Airlines).
“It’s hard to believe more than 100 million passengers have traveled through the Thomas F. Riley terminal since 1990,” said Airport Director Alan Murphy. “On the occasion of the 15th anniversary, we want to recognize the passengers who have made us so successful and thank them for their continued patronage.”
The Thomas F. Riley Terminal opened to the public on Sept. 16, 1990. The more than 400,000-square-foot building boasts 14 loading bridges, four baggage carousels, two airline club lounges and a variety of food and gift concessions. The terminal was named after the Fifth District Orange County supervisor whose role in community negotiations advanced the improvement project.
Not only did 1990 signify the opening of the Thomas F. Riley Terminal, it was also the culmination of a partnership between the County of Orange, City of Newport Beach and two community groups working together to achieve a balance between the needs of traveling public and the environmental concerns of the neighbors surrounding the airport. Today, these groups continue to work together to ensure the airport can meet the air transportation needs of Orange County while remaining sensitive to the environmental concerns of its neighbors.
In 2004, 9.3 million passengers traveled through JWA. That number is expected to increase by the end of 2005 and continue to grow into the future within the limits defined by the Settlement Agreement amendments. To maintain the high aesthetic and service standards set in 1990, and to accommodate the growing number of travelers who use JWA, the airport has begun to implement the Settlement Amendment Implementation Plan, approved in 2003 by the Orange County Board of Supervisors. The SAIP includes a variety of airfield improvements, a new terminal and parking facilities that will provide Orange County with unparalleled security, convenience and architectural appeal.
John Wayne Airport (SNA), a self-supporting enterprise owned and operated by the County of Orange, is the only commercial service airport in Orange County, California. It is located approximately 35 miles south of Los Angeles, between the cities of Costa Mesa, Irvine and Newport Beach. The airport serves more than nine million passengers annually and is governed by the five-member Orange County Board of Supervisors.