LAX traffic continues to expand. Regional airports are now also expanding as well. Ontario Airport, consistently losing passengers to LAX prior to return of local control in November, increased 0.8% in December and Southwest Airlines started regular service to Dallas in January.
Aircraft noise complaints related to LAX are increasing. Areas as far east as Monterey Park, La Habra Heights, and even Huntington Park are expressing grave concerns—and this is before the NextGen, GPS controlled traffic controls, will concentrate flights over some residents as changes to the So. Cal. Metroplex starts in March. It is difficult to identify ways to work with the FAA to reduce the impacts.
LAX is starting approval of its Landside Access Modernization Program LAMP). The first approval hearing is on March 2at the Board of Airport Commission. The Final Environmental Impact Report was released at the end of last week. Significant changes to the LAX Plan and LAX Specific Plan are being sought. LA Planning held a hearing on changes two weeks ago. True to form, edited documents were released to the public on the day of the hearing with comments due within a week. ARSAC discovered several issues whereby LAWA removed control and mitigation requirements. LAWA says that requirements will be added back into a Mitigation and Monitoring Report Requirement. The documents also give more authority to the BOAC and LAWA by reducing requirements for LA Planning and City Council approvals.
The LAMP project implementation is moving forward. Preparatory projects begin later this year. The first target milestones will be completion of the basic project in 2024 before the desired LA Olympic Games. The design of the project is not optimal in the opinion of ARSAC, but we are hoping that it will be functional. Because of the recent MOU with LA ARSAC is allowed to provide comments about any potential improvements but is not allowed to take any legal action to slow or stop the LAMP.
There are about 500 homeless people living in Manchester Square where the LAMP is to begin. There is significant concern about what will happen to these people and how to provide services to them before groundbreaking later this year.
Traffic, traffic, traffic in and around LAX. Arrive at least two hours early for a domestic flight! The number of LAX passengers increased about 8% last year to about 80 million annual passengers. Vehicle traffic increased even more! FAA says expect 30% more by 2030.
$14B in construction delays at LAX is one reason for gridlock. Per a LAX press release: “Passengers using LAX in January will need to plan ahead to navigate sidewalk and vehicle lane closures and in-terminal work. Construction alerts showing Central Terminal Area (CTA) roadway lane restrictions and sidewalk closures, as well as a pedestrian walking map and helpful airline terminal finder, can be found at www.laxishappening.com.”
Another cause of the log jam cause is transportation network companies (TNC) vehicles (i.e. Uber and Lyft) go around the Central Terminal Area several more times than private vehicles seeking to find their assigned passengers.
Aircraft Noise Complaints are up dramatically all over the region. The FAA states that there have been no changes in flight paths. The FAA does, however, acknowledge that there WILL BE changes starting in March as NextGen flight controls are implemented. All airports’ operations are effected. Many FAA meetings and webinars are scheduled throughout Southern California. See www.FAA.gov/nextgen/communityengagement/socal Sample of list:
Jan 23--Veterans Memorial Building, Culver City
Jan 24—Langley Sr. Center, Monterey Park
Jan 25—Palisades Charter HS, Pacific Palisades
Jan 26—Toyota Meeting Hall, Torrance
Jan 30—Burbank Community Services Bldg, Burbank
Jan 31—Community Center Grand Ballroom, La Habra
For More Info, Denny Schneider, President ARSAC www.RegionalSolution.org 213-675-1817
This landmark agreement is a win-win for everyone! The real significance of this agreement, however, is that it is documenting a meeting of the minds and is not just another “enforceable agreement.” On behalf of ARSAC and the communities surrounding LAX, we thank Councilman Mike Bonin for his leadership in the development of this agreement, and to Mayor Eric Garcetti, The Board of Airport Commissioners, and Los Angeles World Airports for working with us to make this long-time coming agreement come to fruition. We also want to thank Congresswoman Maxine Waters for her unwavering support. This agreement demonstrates a new era of cooperation between LAWA and its neighbors not seen in over 40 years where air safety, air quality, noise, and health concern mitigations are on the same level of importance as operational efficiency.
We dedicate this landmark agreement to Denny Schneider’s visionary deceased wife, Nan; great, great, great friend Bill Rosendahl; and our airport mentor Roy Hefner, deceased Westchester Community member, whose efforts made this possible.
The ARSAC Board and community spent well over 100,000 man-hours during the past 20 years reviewing and commenting on LAWA projects. This agreement brings certainty to communities where unconstrained airport growth caused a very uncertain world and damaged quality of life.
This agreement calls for:
Improved north airfield safety without moving runways closer to airport neighbors. Safety enhancements include moving high speed taxiways to the last third of the runway ends, improved taxiways parallel to the north terminals and active safety technology such as Runway Status Lights (RSL) and Final Approach Runway Occupancy Signals (FAROS) to warn pilots if it is unsafe to enter or land on a runway. These new north airfield taxiway enhancements should result in a reduction in aircraft emissions thereby protecting the surrounding communities and the 50,000 people working at LAX.
New passenger gates within the Central Terminal Area will replace the west remote gates currently served by buses.
A new community park in the LAX Northside Development
A new site for an airport air quality monitoring station “Real” ongoing dialogue will occur between LAWA, ARSAC and the community to make LAX better while enhancing the community.
Denny Schneider, President of ARSAC, stated, “We have been the strongest advocates for fixing and improving service at LAX and to make it safe. This is a great day for Los Angeles because LAWA is now updating needed landside terminals and public access to LAX along with significant taxiway improvements and upgraded safety systems.”
Robert Acherman, Vice President of ARSAC stated, “The MOU is a giant step forward in airport and community relations. We look forward to working with LAWA in improving access to LAX while also protecting airport neighborhoods from airport impacts.”
We are so pleased that this is now going to happen. LAWA is addressing both air and ground safety along as well as health impacts.
Thanks again to all you have worked to make this happen.