(January 18, 2003) -- In the first full year after City Hall policies -- undertaken without Council opposition -- helped fill LB's 41 large aircraft flight slots (5 are not currently being flown) and 3 of 25 regional slots (under 75,000 pounds), the number of noise complaints related to air carrier operations as a class has soared 652% in 2002 over their 2001 level. [1,821 in 2002, 242 in 2001]
In December '02, air carrier complaints as a class ballooned by 3,533% over Dec. '01. [218 in Dec. '02, 6 in Dec. '01]
In November '02, air carrier complaints as a class increased 1,425% over Nov. '01. [183 in Nov. '02, 12 in Nov. '02]
December '02's noise complaints involved the following classes:
- Air carriers operations: 218 complaints
- General aviation jets: 18 complaints
- Military/public jets/props: 13 complaints
- Military/public helicopters: 2 complaints
Total noise complaints in Dec. 2002: 259. Total in Dec. 2001: 14.
42 of the 259 Dec. '02 noise complaints (roughly 16%) related to operations in violation of LB's noise compatibility ordinance.
Separate data indicate that for an 11 month period (January-November 2002; December isn't ready yet), there were 274 late night (10 p.m.-7 a.m.) flight violations, of which 230 occurred between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. That's significant because those occurring between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. may not be counted as a violation if the owner/operator presents evidence satisfactory to the Airport Manager showing the 10 p.m.-11 pm. operation was beyond their reasonable control. Reasons include mechanical failure, weather conditions or air traffic control conditions.
The data were contained in materials released by LB Airport management at the December meeting of a City Hall appointed "Airport Advisory Commission."
The number of telephone complaints has historically been considered to understate the full magnitude of the impacts, since not all people detrimentally impacted take the time and trouble to call.
LB Airport's noise complaint hotline is (562) 570-2678. It is often staffed during business hours but when busy or on weekends, a recording is triggered. Press 4, then 2, to reach the complaint intake system. Be prepared to receive a recorded message, which will invite you to leave your information.
News of the large increase in airport noise complaints comes as the LB Area Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee voted to recommend the following policy position to the Chamber's Board of Directors to be adopted in 2003-04:
"Review and support, as appropriate, efforts to maximize potential for job creation and growth at the Long Beach Airport within the existing Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance. Monitor state and federal airline industry legislation."
[To view LBReport.com coverage of the Chamber's Gov't Affairs Committee action, click here.]
LB's Council-adopted 2010 "Strategic Plan" includes in pertinent part: "Expand Long Beach Airport business opportunities, but only within existing noise ordinances."