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Airport Noise Complaints Post Big Increase in March, April and May 2002...And Large Comm'l Flights Are Set To Jump From 24 Now to 41 By October

Meanwhile, AA & Alaska Pressing For More Permanent Slots Than LB's Max

(June 22, 2002) -- has learned that LB Airport noise complaints have significantly increased, with complaints concerning large air carriers as a class increasing nearly five times in May over February's level, and complaints over general aviation jets as a class increasing roughly three and a half times in the same period.

The data, obtained by, are reported by LB Airport staff to members of a Mayor nominated, Council approved "Airport Advisory Commission."

We post the reported data, below. We also post a chart indicating increases in LB Airport flight activity. Question marks in several columns, including January '03, reflect our opinion of contingencies we believe cannot presently be known with certainty. However, the City of LB has repeatedly vowed to assert and defend its rights under the city's Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance which contains federal court approved noise budgeted flight limits.

The number of recorded complaints is thought to understate the magnitude of airport noise pollution since only a fraction of those impacted call the airport noise complaint phone number, work through the voice mail menu and leave a message. [ comment: In our experience, telephone complaints are generally treated professionally, with call backs and information provided within a day or so if the complaining party requests it. The number is (562) 570-2678, press 4, then press 2.]

The table only reflects noise complaints. Additional pollution and flight risks are not quantified here. Further background below the tables.

Noise Complaints
Type of OperatorMay 2002/(01)April 2002/(01)March 2002/(01)Feb. 2002
Air carriers39 (22)27 (4)34 (12)8
Gen'l Aviation Helicopters6 (0)5 (0)1 (1)1
Gen'l Aviation Jets32 (16)13 (4)29 (4)9
Gen'l Aviation Props6 (4)3 (4)3 (2)4
Industrial0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0
Military/Public Helicopters2 (1)1 (2)0 (0)0
Military/Public Jets/Props3 (1)0 (1)10 (1)1
Unknown Source0 (1)0 (1)0 (5)1
Total88 (45)

37.5% of May 02 complaints concerned events exceeding LB noise limits

49 (16)

44.9% of Apr 02 complaints concerned events exceeding LB noise limits

77 (25)

67.5% of Mar 02 complaints concerned events exceeding LB noise limits


Noise Violations
Violation NumberMay 2002/(01)April 2002/(01)March 2002/(01)Feb. 2002
1st12 (9)10 (17)12 (14)10
2nd3 (2)6 (2)1 (3)2
3rd0 (3)2 (1)1 (0)3
4th+22 (18)18 (7)11 (5)5
Total37 (32)

Under 0.12% of 31,196 May 02 airport operations

36 (27)

Under 0.13% of 28,892 Apr 02 airport operations

25 (22)

Under 0.09% of 28,938 Mar 02 airport operations


LB Airport Flight Increases
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSeptOctNovDecJan 03
American4444488888884 or 8 ?
America West5555555555555
Fed Ex2222222222222
JetBlue333356661523232327 ?
Total17171717192424243341414141+ ?

Some salient background

The flight increases result from City Hall policies pursued for years with scant Council dissent. Starting in 1995, City Hall reversed prior city policy (which resisted 40 commercial flights and treated judicially imposed flights as a worst case) and sought to fill LB's noise budgeted 41 daily flight slots, which was never judicially required.

In publicly voted actions, the Council approved widening Lakewood Blvd. from the 405 freeway to the airport, acquired land for a hotel and made terminal "enhancements."

At its June 18, 2002 meeting, the Council authorized pursuing federal grant money to partially finance a new airport parking structure and to an release RFP for hold room improvements (these June 18/02 items, 6-1, Webb dissenting, Baker & Grabinski absent for whole meeting).

These City Hall actions were all publicly explained as accommodating 41 flights.

In May, 2001 the Council voted to change the Airport's flight slot allocation procedures, letting carriers reserve and hold slots longer before flying them. 4th district Councilman Carroll didn't flatly oppose the change but made a substitute motion, seeking a two week delay to permit presentation of the new flight allocation rules to the community for discussion. The motion failed 6-3 (Yes: Carroll, Webb, Grabinski; No, Lowenthal, Baker, Colonna, Kell, Richardson-Batts, Shultz). After further discussion by Councilmembers, the motion to adopt the amended flight slot allocation rules passed 8-1 (Yes: Lowenthal, Baker, Colonna, Kell, Richardson-Batts, Grabinski, Webb, Shultz. No: Carroll).

Within days of the Council's vote, JetBlue Airways reserved all 27 then vacant slots (for aircraft over 75,000 pounds), filling the maximum 41 daily noise budgeted flights available under LB's Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance. Detailed coverage at:

May, 2001: First Significant Council & Staff Discussion of LB Airport Since 1995; We Provide Extended Transcript Excerpts; Council Amends Flight Slot Rules, Hoping to Fill All 41 Comm'l Slots By Letting Airlines Reserve and Hold Slots Longer

May, 2001: LB Airport Could Have 41 Commercial Flights Per Day Within 2 Years as NY Based "JetBlue" Takes All 27 Vacant Flight Slots with City Hall's Help; Makes LB Airport Its Second Nat'l Hub

May, 2001: Councilwoman Jackie Kell Gives Additional Perspective On Recent Council Vote Re Filling Now Empty LB Airport Flight Slots

Sept. 2001: Sights and Sounds of Jet Blue Inaugural LB Flight to NYC, August 29, 2001

In February, 2002 American Airlines asked for four more permanent slots; Alaska followed shortly thereafter. City Hall refused, citing LB's noise budgeted maximum under its noise ordinance.

American and Alaska are pursuing administrative (City Hall) appeals. City Hall has granted American four temporary slots (previously reserved by JetBlue but not yet flying) which American has begun flying; the temporary slots expire in January, 2003. Although the city has denied Alaska use of temporary slots, Alaska has announced it plans to begin LB flights in September.

In May, 2002 launched, an internet source for independent, grassroots based information and a focal point for advocacy and political action. The site at will continue to be built over the coming days and weeks, offering links to information on airport related pollution, health effects, safety considerations, homeowner impacts and taxpayer costs as well as free email alerts concerning airport related developments. The site includes archived news articles on airport-related developments from

Also in May, Councilmembers unanimously passed two resolutions expressing continued fidelity to LB's noise budgeted limit of 41 commercial flights (over 75,000 pounds) and 25 regional flights (under 75,000 pounds), and a third item requesting a report from the City Manager and City Attorney analyzing environmental effects and property value impacts of 41 commercial flights over 75,000 pounds. The items were jointly agendized by Councilmembers Jackie Kell, Rob Webb, Dennis Carroll and Frank Colonna. The resolutions are legally non-binding but demonstrate the Council's public unity on the subject matter. Details and further background at:

May, 2002: May 14: Council Adopts Three Items Supporting City Hall Defense and Advocacy On Airport Noise Ordinance; We Provide Transcript Excerpts

May, 2002: Must Read Letter From City Hall to American Airlines Details LB's Airport Position, Asks AA To Limit Any Challenge To Allocation of Flight Slots And Leave LB's Airport Noise Ordinance Alone

May, 2002: LB Airport Developments: American Airline Managing Director, Corporate Affairs Comes to LB, Spotted At Media Event For Upgraded LB Airport Facilities; Alaska Airlines Seeks Administrative Appeal Hearing On Request for 3 More Slots; JetBlue Begins Two Departing, Two Arriving Flights Each Day to/from DC Dulles

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