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Bill Rosendahl - Council District 11






Monday, December 04, 2006

A Meeting with the FAA

I just got back in the office from my trip to DC to meet with the FAA about their safety concerns over the North Airfield at LAX. I was joined by representatives from Mayor Villaraigosa's office, Congresswoman Harman's office, Congresswoman Waters' office, the City of El Segundo and ARSAC. While I don't think that the meeting with the FAA necessarily resolved the safety issue, I do think that the trip as a whole provided some important reminders of what we are trying to accomplish.

In a tribute to the spirit of regionalism, LAWA asked us all to fly from regional airports (anywhere but LAX). It's amazing how much less painful flying is when you avoid the long lines. It was also nice that the three days of parking costs less than the car I parked there.
Washington, DC is a model to emulate. Despite being a mere fraction of the size of Los Angeles at 68 square miles and 582,000 people, it is served by three major airports, all of which are connected to the city by mass transit.

I personally chose to fly through BWI. I got off my plane, took the shuttle to the train station and jumped on a train to Union Station where I was able to pick up the Metro Red Line to my hotel. I was in my room within 45 minutes of landing. Total spent: $7.35. A cab would have cost close to $100 and probably would have taken longer, given the traffic.

Those were the highlights of the trip (other than getting to visit Georgetown, my alma mater). The meeting with the FAA was somewhat disappointing. While I feel I understand the airport planning process a little better now than I did before, I’m still not sure if there is a safety problem and, if there is one, how bad it is.

The problem is that the FAA is not very communicative. The meeting was basically an elaboration of the presentation that was made during the public meetings at the Proud Bird. I now understand why the FAA feels that a centerline taxiway would improve safety at LAX, but I don’t know if the improvement would be significant. Also, because the FAA was unwilling to give any guidance, I don’t know if some of the alternatives to the center line would achieve the same results.

Councilman Rosendahl is scheduled to go back to DC in January with Congresswoman Jane Harman and LAWA Commissioner Val Velasco. They will meet directly with Marion Blakey, the head of the FAA. Hopefully, she will be more direct in discussing her concerns so that we can have a better understanding of why they want the runway moved.

Phil Tate
Legislative Director


Anonymous westchesterkids.org said...

One of the reasons that makes the South Airfield so "unsafe" is the number of taxiways that are on it. 4 high speed taxiways and and 4 low speed taxiways. The sheer number of taxiways, especially the high speed taxi ways complicate managing ground traffic movement. The North Airfield has only 2 high speed taxiway and 2 low speed taxiways making it inherently safer.

The new proposals appears to add more low speed taxiways which will raise the risk of runway intrusions. Then they add the center taxiway which brings it back somewhat from the standpoint of risk. The proposals simply are not necessary.

If they are determined to move a runway on the North airfield then it should be moving 24L towards the terminals and demolishing terminals 1,2,3 to make room for it. The advantages of this is to A) Reduce noise in the community and B) help keep the CAP below 78 million.

We should also not accept any proposal to extend the runway(s) East 1000'. This would have a detrimental affect on the community and is 'expansion' by any definition.

4:13 PM  

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