FEB 2018 Airline Noise Highway Crisis Update

FEB18poster3OP-ED  (with updates at bottom of article)

Recent Comments from the West Adams For Quiet Skies Facebook page: 


"So incredibly bad today. Driving me crazy."   

"Just had an Airbus fly over at 2100’. Horrific." 

"11:50 pm and they are still coming loud and low every 10 minutes. It is INSANE and I will keep saying it." 

"Louder, and planes are now 2 minutes apart instead of 3."  

"I feel like it gets progressively worse every day" 

"1:40 am- windows rattling, woke up my kid, 5:15 am, 5:20 am,..."

"This is an outrage and truly abusive!!!! What a way to spend our holidays."

Los Angeles residents are at their wit's end as Mayor Garcetti, Council President Herb Wesson and  Senator Kamala Harris have either refused or struggled to provide recent updates on any specific and clear actions they are taking to confront and control the relentless highway of airplanes roaring above 10's of 1,000's of residents thanks to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA),  a government agency captured by the Airline Industry.  After a community Action Alert Network email (over 60 sent to Mayor Garcetti's office begging for answers and help) the Mayor responded. It included this tepid cliche; "All parties continue to work together with the FAA to collect information and feedback from communities under the flight path. Where possible, the Mayor’s office and LAWA will advocate for improvements.”

The Action Network responded with over 40 emails that included a response written by  activist Michelle Nkeiru Quach:   "If you are up to date with any of the information coming from LAWA [Los Angeles World Airport] or the LAX Community Noise Roundtable [an organization at the Airport tasked with being a liaison between airport issues and the community] you would know that the FAA not only refuses to work with LAWA or the Roundtable but they also will not respond to any correspondence, request for information, and refuse to participate in the monthly Roundtable meetings after several invitations from the Roundtable. To say that “All parties continue to work together…” is a false statement and you have sincerely underestimated just how far ahead the community is on this issue."

The Mayor then tried to "school" the community with an FAA talking point: “The Socal Metroplex Project is part of a nationwide effort by FAA to modernize procedures based on the latest technology, and to manage a crowded airspace shared by six major airports, 15 satellite airports, and numerous military facilities.”

The community wasn't having it and responded with "This roll-out has been a nation-wide disaster in just about every region, city, and state it has been implemented. Phoenix, Maryland, Los Altos, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, New York, Culver City, Lake Arrowhead, Burbank, San Diego and more to come. If you review any of these other lawsuits or the dozens of websites organized by citizens around the country against it, you would understand that this 'latest technology' is flawed in that it clearly overlooks the impact of noise and pollution in the affected communities. In West Adams, the Environmental Impact Statement performed by the FAA determined a Finding of No Significant Impact, yet thousands of complaints logged by LAWA each month prove otherwise. This study did not include the use of noise monitoring equipment in our neighborhoods and was based on old methodologies that do not factor the impact of constant noise on human health. Unfortunately, there is no latest technology that is capable of collecting and assessing this type of information."

Then the Mayor made a fatal statement indicating he may just be on the side of the FAA when it came to this issue, when he provided this weak excuse - “The FAA’s implementation of new satellite-based take-off and landing procedures has resulted in noise relief for some, but increased frequency of direct overflights and related noise for others.” 

This statement was easily knocked off its fence-sitting: "The previous route through West Adams was spread out and no one experienced what we citizens are suffering from now. Your point suggests that these communities must endure the suffering for the good of the many. West Adams alone represents a sampling of the more than 22,000 people who live in one of the most densely populated areas of Los Angeles that are now affected by the airplane highway over our homes, schools, senior centers, and medical facilities. There are thousands of people in the areas of downtown and Inglewood that are also impacted by this consolidated airplane route and we've been in contact with them. Many of us in these communities already live near crowded freeways and boulevards and deal with the constant noise from helicopters every day. Now thanks to Metroplex we have the airplanes as well."

The Mayor continued with a patronizing “We encourage you to remain engaged on this issue. The following is a link to a website for the LAX/Community Noise Roundtable, where you can find information about what that group does when they meet, and more."

Michelle responded with "Mayor Garcetti, we have no choice but to remain engaged on this issue and insist that you do as well. Many of us (infants, children, working families, single parents, freelancers working from home) are woken up in the middle of the night and early morning by these aircraft flying through our neighborhoods at 3000 ft. Unfortunately, this is not an issue we can forget because we are reminded of our plight every 2-5 minutes throughout the day sometimes for 24 hours a day!"

"We the community ask you to properly inform yourself on the issue of the Southern California Metroplex program and get back to us with a more informed response to the issue and an action plan on how you are going to fight for us, before the end of this month.

We are not going away and we are getting larger and angrier.  Please help us."

Unlike other Councilmembers whose districts are affected, Council President Wesson,  the city representative for CD10,has at least taken  some initial promising activity that included the hiring of Jeff Camp as an associate deputy.  Jeff was one of the first to sound the alarm in the community. As a deputy he quickly got a seat at the LAX Roundtable and has done an excellent job of researching and informing CP Wesson and the community with charts, maps and statistics which helped support letters of complaint from CP Wesson to the FAA. He also uncovered important information that shone a light on the FAA's practice of ignoring the 6,000 ft. height limit proving they consistantly went under the limits. Most recently 98% of the time. All information that could eventually provide fodder for a lawsuit. But efforts to communicate with the FAA from CP Wesson remain unanswered or if they were, nothing has been shared with the community. There was also talk about arranging a meeting with the FAA. Did  it happen? Inquiries remain unanswered.  There was talk  about consulting with the City Attorney allegedly to discuss legal options but that was in November with no report to community or other scheduled meetings with the attorney since.  In light of a strongly worded letter recently sent from the Roundtable to the FAA - calling them out on their unwillingness to respond to numerous efforts to meet and talk - we reached out to but were unable to get information from CD10 about the game plan moving forward.  Statistics, charts, community meetings and begging for the FAA's attention  can only take us so far. What next?

Efforts to engage 'the sorry don't have time for this,' Senator Kamala Harris  have been met with resistance, avoidance, and inexperienced interns.  Hard to believe she is ignoring the suffering of thousands of her constituents throughout California.  But she is. 

Yet the community has rallied.  The core group of West Adams for Clear Skies, Jim Mangia, Gavin Abercrombie, Michelle Nkeiru Quach and this writer, have begun working with an attorney and are partnering with a private citizen who is bring suit against the FAA. There are some legitimate Social Justice issues at stake. If the flights were a little north, they would be going over Beverly Hills/Hancock Park. Why us and not them? Or why not share the pain?  Also the West Adams For Quiet Skies Facebook page allows engaged and commited residents to share information, support each other, let off steam, send out Action Network activities and keep the issue on track.   There you can  find everything you need to know  to get up to speed including news reports of complaints from Los Altos, Malibu, Scottsdale, NYC, and South Shore. There is also direction on how to file complaints.  

But the ball lies squarely in the court of our elected officials.  Officials across America have protected their citizens by filing lawsuits which seem to be the only time the FAA will begin to engage in serious discussion about making changes.  Officials and citizens from Phoenix, Maryland, Los Altos, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, New York, Culver City, Lake Arrowhead, Burbank and San Diego have all filed lawsuits. 

Some members of the community,council to be patient.  Things take time. Much of the official effort has been to gather information and make efforts to engage the FAA.  But patience is wearing thin among those assaulted throughout the day and being replaced with "what's the plan?"

It's been 11 months since we woke up to this nightmare.  On Mayor Garcetti's website we find the quote:

"Mayor Garcetti is a fourth-generation Angeleno and the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles. His Agenda is focused on creating a safe, livable, and prosperous city."  

We're pretty sure he has decided to run for President.  It was even mentioned on Morning Joe. Would the fight with a federal agency negatively affect his run for President? Could he be losing his proper focus?

What You Can Do. Pick one. Pick them all.

- FILE A COMPLAINT - Go to www.planenoise.com/lawa and fill in the information. Unfortunately it only allows a specific time and one choice of complaint but it allows you to include a message where you can mention the other complaint options as well. 

- Send an email to the Mayor 

- Call the noise comment phone line: (424) 64-NOISE

- Want to be part of the ACTION NETWORK? email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and put Include Me in the subject line.  Join us in making targeted phone calls or emails.

- Keep up on the ongoing reports or read the strongly worded letter from the LAX Roundtable group to the FAA (under the Community News link) go to our website

www.theneighborhoodnews.net. 

UPDATE FEB 6: THIS UPDATE FROM COUNCILMAN WESSON'S OFFICE 2 days after article printed:
The LAX Noise Round Table Ad-Hoc Committee met tonight. We went over latest data and trends continue. Both Council President Wesson's office and Council Member Bonin's are in ongoing conversations with the FAA. 

Congressional representatives Bass and Liu are also in engaged talks. Feinstein's office, has arranged a meeting with TRACON (the air traffic controllers for the SoCal Metroplex) next week which will include your elected officials and their staff. Please stay tuned. We will continue to keep you updated on progress and solutions being pursued. Thank you to all of those under this sky highway and our continued efforts in finding solutions to mitigate the loss in our quality of life.







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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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