Voters nix international airport plans By Laura Del Rosso / April 16, 2002 Share 1 -- ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Voters in Orange County blocked plans for an international airport, effectively killing any chance such a facility will be built anytime soon. Plans to turn a former Marine base at El Toro into an international airport were defeated when voters approved rezoning the land as parkland. The 4,700-acre piece of land adjoins the cities of Irvine, Tustin and Lake Forest.The vote marked the end of a 10-year debate that pitted residents of the southern part of the county against their neighbors to the north."It's been an issue for years," said a spokeswoman for the Anaheim/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "People in the north were generally pro-airport and the [residents in the] south did not want jets flying over their homes."The tourism industry generally favored the concept of an international airport here.Los Angeles Airport is about an hour's drive from Anaheim, and John Wayne Airport in Orange County operates at near-capacity and with restrictions on noise and times flights can take off and land. Those factors have prevented John Wayne Airport from attracting international flights.However, because of the relative proximity of Los Angeles Airport, the airlift situation is not grim for Orange County, the spokeswoman said.There also is Ontario Airport, a nearby facility that is underused and less than an hour from Anaheim, she said.