John Wayne Airport is one of the 10 scariest airports in the world.
That's the opinion of "a couple of pilots, along with SmarterTravel readers," who provided "their insights and experiences with difficult takeoffs and landings" to the travel site.
SmartTraveler explains why John Wayne (or SNA as it states on your bag tags) lands at No. 10 on its top 10 scariest airport list:
Strict noise reduction requirements may not seem scary at first, but if you're not expecting engine cutbacks during takeoff you might be spooked. According to Jenny Wedge, public relations manager at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, "Due to its close proximity to nearby communities, JWA has one of the most stringent aircraft access and noise monitoring programs in the United States, if not the world." Pilots begin their takeoffs at close to full power, then incline quickly and steeply before reducing engine power. "It's like a space shuttle liftoff," says Facebook follower Elizabeth Conrad. [Pilot and Ask the Pilot blogger Patrick] Smith notes that passengers contact him about this airport all the time, some even claiming the pilots turn off the engines after take off. But although the procedure seems unusual, he says "there's nothing that the plane does that is not within its capabilities."
John Wayne Airport spokeswoman Rachel Gibson reiterates SNA is safe to the Orange County Register:
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"We continue to operate a safe, secure travel environment here at the airport. The takeoff procedure is related to working closely with the community regarding our noise ordinance requirement. There have been no incidents, and we continue to operate safely out of John Wayne Airport."
Hopefully her message will get through to those who left comments to SmartTraveler's scary round-up.
"I flew out of John Wayne once [and it] scarred [sic] the hell [out] of me even after the pilot had warned us. Don't much care for that feeling," wrote acoulman.