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    City Prosecutor & JetBlue Extend '03 Consent Decree On Late-Nite Flights Thru June 07 With Continued Revenue For Library Foundation; Meanwhile, East Coast Summer T'Storms Apparently Result In JetBlue LB Late Night-Early A.M. Arrivals

    (July 22, 2006) -- JetBlue, LB Airport's major commercial carrier which stresses customer satisfaction and has won awards for it, has had a run of apparent weather-related late night-early morning operations on July 21...including one arrival at about half past three in the morning July 22, roughly seven hours later than scheduled.

    At the same time, these (and other) late night flights will continue generating revenue for LB's non-profit Library Foundation: earlier this month, JetBlue and the City Prosecutor agreed to extend their 2003 Consent Decree in which JetBlue agreed to pay $3,000 (payable to the LB Library Foundation) for operations between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. (up to $6,000 for each late nite flight depending on how many occur in each calendar quarter).

    JetBlue flight 215 from NYC to LB flight landed in LB at roughly 3:25 a.m. Saturday July 22 (instead of 7:25 p.m. Friday as scheduled), capping a day in which several of the carrier's flights ran late with thunderstorms reportedly affecting the JFK-NYC area [informal weather info via JetBlue 800-number clerk].

    JetBlue flight 215 was scheduled to leave NYC at 4:30 p.m. Friday...but didn't take off until 9:33 p.m., producing the post-midnight/predawn LB arrival...and ended up landing on shorter neighborhood runway 25R while longer main runway 30 was closed for maintenace-related work.

    Earlier on Friday July 21, JetBlue flight 205 left NYC at 6:14 p.m. instead of noon, arriving in LB at 9:32 p.m. instead of 2:45 p.m. PT.

    Other flights affected later hours. JetBlue flight 219 left about an hour late and arrived in LB at about 10:30 p.m. instead of 9:00 p.m. JetBlue flight 217 left about an hour late and arrived in LB at 11:13 p.m. instead of 9:50 p.m. as scheduled.

    Meanwhile, JetBlue flight 249 from Oakland to LB, which was supposed to leave the Bay area at 8:33 p.m. Friday July 21 and arrive about 9:55 p.m., was flat-out delayed [unusual for JetBlue]...and (as we post before dawn) is scheduled to arrive at7:16 a.m. Saturday July 22. A JetBlue telephone staffer was uncertain if that delay was related to Friday's weather-related issues on the east coast.

    Earlier this month, JetBlue flight 219 from NYC to LB Airport that was supposed to land at 9:00 p.m. July 2 instead landed at 1:02 a.m. Monday July 3 after taking off a little over four hours late; a JetBlue 800-number clerk told us at the time that the NYC area was (again) plagued by thunderstorms.

    LB's noise budgeted Airport ordinance permits Airport management to waive fines for large aircraft operations between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. if management decides it's due to circumstances beyond the carrier's control, including weather. However flights after 11:00 p.m. automatically trigger a fine...which in JetBlue's case is $3,000 (or $6,000 depending on how many late night flights occur in one quarter), payable to the LB Public Library Foundation under a 2003 consent decree recently extended for a year by agreement between the LB City Prosecutor's office and JetBlue.

    The 2003 Consent Decree settled misdemeanor City Prosecutor charges stemming from 2002 allegations that JetBlue transgressed LB's Airport ordinance with late night flights (11 p.m. to 7 a.m.) The Consent Decree (to which JetBlue agreed without admitting the allegations) provided that from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2006 -- and now renewed to June 30, 2007 -- JetBlue will pay $3,000 for each of the first six times in a calendar quarter it violates section 16.43.100 of LB Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance; the sum rises to $6,000 per violation for such violations thereafter in that calendar quarter. These sums are significantly larger than the ordinance's $500 maximum amount for each such violation (which can become $1,500 for each violation with penalty assessments if a judge were to impose this...and isn't automatic like a Consent Decree).

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