LAX Expansion Meeting Tonight

A public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. Plans call for a people mover, new roadways, new terminals and a new taxiway, and will move northern runways 260 feet north.

A group of Westchester residents that oppose plans to relocate an LAX runway 260 feet closer to their homes will have their first chance to voice their concerns today, during a scheduled public hearing run by airport officials and the city's Planning Department.

Los Angeles World Airports and planning staff will hold an afternoon open house for people to ask questions about the plan, followed by an official public hearing to register public comments.

The opposition group, the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion, told the Daily Breeze the group plans to ask candidates for mayor to pledge not to support the plan to relocate the runway, a pledge that every major L.A. mayoral candidate since 2001 has embraced.

Los Angeles World Airport planners have released an ambitious plan to rebuild Los Angeles International Airport. It includes a people-mover system, access roads relocation and a new surface transportation terminal on 96th Street.

The proposed master plan for LAX includes a proposal to shift the northern-most of the airport's four parallel runways 260 feet further away from the central terminals. That shift would allow a centerfield taxiway to be squeezed between the northern two runways, a move strongly urged by the FAA and the airlines.

LAWA officials say moving the northernmost runway toward Westchester would improve sight-lines for pilots, improve safety area protections for taxiing aircraft, and allow new passenger gates to be built at several existing and proposed concourses on the north side of the airport loop.

But it would shift most aircraft landings by 260 feet further to the north, closer to what's left of the community of Westchester. That section of L.A. was decimated in the 1950s and 1960s, when the northern two LAX runways were built and hundreds of homes and businesses at Playa del Rey and Westchester were destroyed.

The Westchester residents want more flights shifted to Ontario, which is owned by LAWA but is suffering a steep decline in flight service as airlines pull out of non-hub airports across the nation.

In addition to the runway relocation, the new LAWA plan includes a proposed passenger terminal -- with a working title of Terminal Zero -- to be built just east of Terminal 1, on the site of the LAX-owned Park One parking site. An entirely new terminal concourse would also be built to the west of the Bradley Terminal.

The maze of roadways at the Sepulveda Boulevard/96th Street interchange would be realigned. Lincoln Boulevard would be again rebuilt, this time shifted north toward Westchester Parkway to make way for the relocated northern runway.

LAWA last month announced it has wedged in space for a possible Metro light rail station to be built inside the airport itself.

LAWA has already nearly finished environmental plans for the reconfigured airport. On Tuesday, it will present the plans to the public and hear comments on them. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the Proud Bird Restaurant, 11022 Aviation Blvd., in Westchester.

Comments made at the meeting or in writing will be forwarded to the Los Angeles Planning Commission and eventually, the City Council, as they consider the plan.

Mark Shoemaker January 09, 2013 at 12:22 PM
The Public Hearing was very lively with a strong Westchester turnout! There were basically two options being promoted by LAWA - both share the same ground transportation and central terminal area upgrade plan called alternative 9. The major difference between the two options was the North runway and taxiway plan. Alternative 1&9 was favored by about half a dozen Union representatives; it moves the runway 260 feet north and requires Lincoln to be routed into a tunnel to connect to Sepulveda. Alternative 2&9 does not require moving the north runway or a Lincoln tunnel. Alternatives 1 & 2 are being considered mainly to accommodate a small number of "Group 6" aircraft - which currently means the A380 - this aircraft already operates at LAX. Alternative 1 costs about $750 million, and 2 about $250 million. It was felt that the $500 million cost difference could be used to greatly improve the central terminal area and ground transportation. Alternative 1 claims "safety" improvements, however, a NASA study refutes that claim. Maxine Waters was very supportive of Alternative 2, as were the Westchester and Playa del Rey speakers. It appears there is not an agreed to "Regional Plan for LAX" that involves LAWA and Metrolink. Opponents of Alternative 2 that moves the North runway flight path and noise footprint north by 260' need to become as vocal as possible to prevent LAWA from moving ahead with Alternative 1.


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