Angry neighbors were no match for the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, who have voted to approve an LAX modernization plan that includes a scheme to separate the northernmost runways and move one closer to a residential area, which will help with safety and with handling jumbo jets. According the LA Times, the commissioners voted 6 to 1 in favor of the plan--the lone holdout is a resident of Playa del Rey by the airport. Opponents say the runway move will increase noise and air pollution and is unneccessary--they point to a NASA study saying the current configuration is perfectly safe, and to the decline in popularity of the larger planes like the A380. And they don't want planes landing any closer to their homes than they already are, thankyouverymuch.
The runway split is only the most controversial element of a much larger plan. Also on the list of proposals are "terminal additions, upgrades to existing passenger facilities and a transportation center, as well as new parking areas and a consolidated car rental facility in nearby Manchester Square. Also planned are links to a light rail station at Aviation and Century boulevards and a people mover around the terminal area." (More on that exciting transpo action later.) Taken together it's all meant to keep LAX competitive with other major airports, like San Francisco's. But even though the commissioners approved the plan, the changes are still a ways off. The overall plan still needs approval from the LA Planning Department, City Council, and mayor, while the plans for each individual project will also be voted on separately by the airport. Local groups unhappy with the decision, like the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion, could also sue to stop the plan.
If each proposal goes ahead, the total budget for the modernization plan is $4.76 billion, with a target completion date of 2025.
· L.A. airports panel approves moving runway closer to homes [LAT]
· Everyone Likes New LAX Runway Plans Except the Neighbors [Curbed LA]