The NextGen airline highway which the Federal Aviation Administration has foisted on communities across the country has been getting worse and worse in the West Adams. lower Mid-City and Jefferson Park communities.

In the last month the average altitude of the planes flying directly overhead these neighborhoods has gone from approximately 5,400 ft. down to 4,200 ft., with planes often as low as 3,200 ft.  (To give it perspective, the planes you see really high up in the sky, the ones you can barely see or hear, are at about 18,000 to 20,000 ft.) The roar of these low flyers can start as early as 6 am and continue every few minutes all day and well into the night. It usually isn’t until 1 am that you begin hearing silence. Neighbors who previously hadn’t noticed the noise are starting to complain and sign on to join protests and file complaints.

Because the FAA is violating their own published altitude of 6,000 ft. when they hit the GADDO waypoint ( a marker for the airplane to hit, around Jefferson and Normandie east side of West Adams),  they have put themselves in a position to be sued by the city. The City Attorney's office has been in mysterious “negotiations” with them for months.  The latest document concerning these negotiations is a letter sent by the city attorneys to the FAA in February asking them about getting the planes up to published 6,000 ft. butonly between midnight and 5 am where there are barely any flights anyway. And more troubling, they are arguing for 6,000 ft. starting at a waypoint west of West Adams, what is referred to as the DAHJR waypoint at Redondo and Blackwelder  instead of the point east of us. This tells us that they are not arguing for 6,000 ft east of us anymore because if they were.....they would not have to bother with a point west of us. They would already have to stay high at a westerly point to maintain that altitude east of us.

This creates a serious problem for the West Adams residents.  The planes need to be at 3,000 ft. by the time they get to downtown LA, where they turn and merge with incoming flights coming from the east headed west to the landing runways at the airport.  That means within 1 -2 minutes they have to get from 6,000 ft., down to 3,000 ft. so the whine of brakes will be West Adams' ongoing background noise instead of the sound of birds and kids playing.

West Adams community activists are concerned because once negotiations are over, they have to live with whatever the city agrees to. These negotiations could be the last opportunity to affect what is going to happen and ensure there are real solutions for us. But community members are shut out of the conversation. It appears as if Councilman Wesson is not fighting to keep GADDO in the solution, instead just leaving it up to the lawyers. The city is in a position to sue the FAA if they do not keep the flights at 6,000 ft. at GADDP. His office and the City Attorneys office were hit with a barrage of approximately 70 emails from Quiet Skies LA activists demanding that the promised 6,000 ft. at GADDO be a result of the negotiations.   No response back.  Calls to the City Attorney’s office are met with “We can’t say anything about ongoing negotiations.” even though they have published letters about their intentions.

Are our Councilmembers, City Attorney  and the Mayor going to fight tooth and nail for their beleaguered, exhausted constituents? Will they sue the FAA?  Well...according to the LA Times, the city is getting ready to expand the LAX terminals, providing 12 more gates to accommodate increased landings and take-offs. The Mayor, City Council and Board of Airport Commissioners have approved this expansion to be built in time for the Olympics. So  it doesn't look like they are going to do much for us.

If you want to stay informed and active in solutions (there ARE solutions), here are your options…

Join - Sky Justice National Network facebook page where activists from around the country inform and support each other’s efforts. Knowledge is power. Find out what is happening on the Congressional level in their fight to hold the FAA accountable and change the laws.

Join the Quiet Skies Los Angeles Action Network. We have over 500 members who are committed to taking group suggested actions like sending a group email or making en masse phonecalls. We also keep you informed through occasional (very occasional) updating emails and we share opportunities for you to show up to make your concerns heard at official meetings. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and put Action Network in the subject line.

The FAA and its profit-hungry enablers are biding their time, expecting us to accept the unacceptable. Many of us, and our numbers are growing as it gets worse, will continue to resist this narrative and replace it with a demand that they accept the reality that we will not go away until this unbearable imposition on our quality of life, this arrogant intrusion into our private property and lives is aggressively addressed by our government officials, taken seriously by the FAA and adequately resolved.

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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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Dianne V. Lawrence
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