Soon, John Wayne Airport passengers will be able to depart for home or their travel destination without hailing a cab or a shuttle but by summoning Uber, a web-based car service that up to now has been banned from airports.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved permitting ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft to begin serving John Wayne Airport, says a statement released Wednesday by airport authorities.
Under current regulations, such services may not operate at airports unless specifically authorized by the airport authority.
“It’s important for us to find ways to accommodate this new technology while ensuring a level playing field for all ground transportation providers serving the airport,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Todd Spitzer.
Supervisor Michelle Steel, whose district includes John Wayne Airport, made the motion to initiate the permit process after being assured drivers would be insured and regulated. “It is important that we allow a free and fair market for these providers, but also that we take steps to ensure a safe environment for passengers,” she said.
Airport staff will review ground transportation operating permit applications to ensure applicants are in compliance with state and local regulations before issuing a permit, the statement says.
Uber drivers are not authorized to pick up passengers at the airport until the company receives a permit.