Local News

Controversy Surrounds Proposed LAX Expansion

WESTCHESTER, Calif.  (KTLA) — The multimillion-dollar expansion and facelift of Los Angeles International Airport is running into resistance from some residents.

People who live in the shadow of the airport are speaking out against plans to relocate a runway even closer to their homes.

They aired their concerns at a public meeting on Tuesday night.

“The people who are here today would be willing to go so far as to handcuff themselves to a bulldozer if necessary,” declared Westchester resident Dana Cope.

LAX expansion planners want to move the north runway 260 feet farther north. Many residents fear it would ruin their community, just like they say the last expansion did.

“We already had a wipe-out. In ’85, they took 10,000 homes out and the businesses have just now come back,” one woman said.

Rep. Maxine Waters stopped by to share her feelings. She says expert studies conducted only two years ago show that the airport is already safe.

“A joint panel between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and academic experts studied the airport’s configuration,” Waters said.

She continued: “They concluded, ‘The north airfield of LAX is extremely safe under the current configuration.”

While planners feel that their new plan would make LAX even safer, they do admit that there would be more noise.

However, they say that fewer people would be impacted because fewer people live under the proposed inbound flight path.

Still, many residents worry about losing their homes if the runway is moved north, because of Federal Aviation Administration requirements between homes and runways.

“It’s still within the boundary of the airport, so there isn’t anything in a runway move that would require us to go take any homes,” Diego Alvarez, of Los Angeles World Airports insisted.

They have already bought up some homes form the Manchester Square area from willing sellers. That’s where a new parking and car rental facility is planned.