John Wayne Orange County Airport

John Wayne Airport is a commercial and general aviation airport operated by the county. It serves Orange County, California and the Greater Los Angeles area.

Airport history

The first airstrip on the grounds was constructed in 1923 when Eddie Martin signed a five-year lease with James Irvine to operate a flying school on land owned by the Irvine Company, with the first hangar being added in 1926. In 1967, the 22,000-square-foot Eddie Martin Terminal was built, named after the airport's original founder and pioneer. The Orange County Board of Supervisors changed its name from Orange County Airport to its current name in 1979 in honor of actor John Wayne, who lived in neighboring Newport Beach. A statue of the late actor was erected on the property three years later. The Thomas F. Riley Terminal opened in September of 1990, and the original Eddie Martin Terminal was demolished in 1994. In 2011, additional terminal space was added and existing terminals were refreshed as part of a $543 million expansion project.

Airport location

The airport is located 35 miles south of Los Angeles in an unincorporated area of Orange County, surrounded by Irvine, Newport Beach, and Costa Mesa.

Airport facts

● John Wayne Airport was ranked #2 among large airports in North America by J.D. Power's 2020 North America Airport Satisfaction Study.

● The airport has partnered with Orange County Animal Allies to create the AirPAWS Therapy Dog Program, which brings trained therapy dogs to the Thomas F. Riley Terminal to help make travel more enjoyable. 

● The airport is home to nearly 500 general aviation (private, non-commercial) aircraft, representing 68% of total operations at JWA, and is served by two full-service fixed base operators and one limited use general aviation facility. It spans across 500 acres.

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