Complaints span 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th (border with 7th), 7th & 8th Council Districts
(February 19, 2003) -- Noise complaints resulting from air carrier operations as a class at LB Airport rose radically -- from 9 in Jan. 2002 to 230 in January 2003.
The most recent monthly figure is now almost as high as total number of air carrier complaints for the entire year of 2001.
In Jan. 2003, the total number of complaints for air carriers as a class, and for total operations, was also higher than in Dec. 2002 (details below).
Currently only 88% (36) of LB's 41 daily commercial flight slots for aircraft over 75,000 pounds are actually flying. They are expected to reach 41 as JetBlue ramps up operations in the coming months.
The increased number of noise complaints is the result of a May, 2001 Council vote (8-1, Carroll dissenting) to let carriers hold slots longer before having to fly them or lose them. Shortly thereafter, JetBlue Airways took all remaining commercial slots for aircraft over 75,000 pounds, maxing out the 41 currently allowed. The Council action (on motion by 5th district Councilwoman Jackie Kell) was not required by the FAA or any federal court.
As the fateful May 2001 Council meeting, Councilwoman Kell said, the Council's action "will allow airlines to gradually increse the number of their flights up to 24 months, which will give the city, neighborhoods and community more time to adjust to the frequency of additional flight operations."
As a result of the "full flight slot" vote, a portion of the LB Airport Noise Ordinance, reinforced by a recently-reached agreement with several air carriers and now pending FAA approval -- will come into play and could result in more than 41 large aircraft slots...but within certain noise limits. City Hall will use empirical Airport noise data from the previous year and determine (by a public Council vote each October) whether additional flights beyond 41 can fit within the current 41 flight noise budget.
The Jan. 2003 noise complaint data below were contained in a memo by LB Airport staff to City Hall's appointed "Airport Advisory Commission." The memo indicates January, 2003's noise complaints involved the following classes:
- Air carriers operations: 230 complaints. (Dec. 2002=218; Jan. 2002=9)
- General aviation jets: 21 complaints (Dec. 2002=18)
- General aviation props: 14 complaints
- [Military categories: 8 complaints]
Total noise complaints in Jan. 2003 were 276. (The total for Dec. 2002 was 259. The total for Jan. 2002 was 18.
In Jan. 2003, 22 of 276 complaints related to operations in violation of LB's Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance. There were 86 complainants, spanning the 3d, 4th, 5th (some quite far eastward), 6th (border with 7th), 7th and 8th Council districts.
Neighborhood activists have historically considered the number of complaints received to understate the full extent of the impacts. Not everyone impacted takes the time to call...some may not think it does any good...and noise violations are automatically recorded by airport noise monitors. However, to be reported in the monthly tally, noise complaints must be phoned in.
LB Airport's noise complaint hotline is (562) 570-2665. Be prepared to receive a recorded message, which will invite you to leave your information.