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John Wayne Airport

Santa Ana

OC METRO's Hot 25 for 2011Published: November 01, 2011

Hot Factor: From a single airstrip in the 1920s to a commercial airport that recently piloted a $500 million airport-improvement project, JWA is taking off!

How do you get hotter than John Wayne Airport? When its new Terminal C opens on Nov. 14, its footprint will almost double in size, the number of gates will jump from 14 (most are always jammed) to 20, and the number of eateries will almost triple.
Parking will greatly improve. And technology is in place to not only make parking quicker; finding your plane will be quicker, too.
“I took a tour and was just knocked out by how beautiful everything was,” says Lucy Dunn, president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council.
Named after the great actor John Wayne in 1979 (he made his home in Newport Harbor), the airport now serves close to 9 million passengers a year. But as great as Terminal C is touted to be, don’t expect the Duke to pull up stakes and head over there. The 9-foot-high bronze statue of the actor will remain in the lower level in the older part of the airport.

Editor’s Note: To see who made our “Hot 25” lists in prior years, visit our Archives page.
And, we’re now on the hunt for exceptional women who are impacting O.C. If you know someone who deserves to be on our 20 Women to Watch list, please let us know at our Nominate page.