Los Angeles

City of LA Suing FAA Over Changes to Flight Patterns Over Mid-City, Central LA

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said Monday that the city of Los Angeles is suing the Federal Aviation Administration due to changes in flight paths of planes flying into Los Angeles International Airport, specifically affecting the areas of Mid-City and central Los Angeles.

Feuer told NBCLA that he's received "hundreds" and "thousands" of complaints about the flight paths. The district attorney said that the goal should be to disperse the flights.

"No community should be particularly unduly burdened by a concentration of these flights," Feuer said.

The city will file the case in the U.S. Court of Appeals, challenging the FAA's recent changes to planes flying into LAX.

Feuer alleges that the FAA's changes were implemented "without proper environmental review or public input" and says the changes represent the latest "failure to address noise and other negative impacts from aircraft overflights in those areas" by the FAA.

The petition also challenges the FAA's recent decision to limit public comment, the statement said.

Said Feuer in a statement, "The FAA made changes to a major flight path over Los Angeles without ever considering the environmental consequences of those actions. Then, the agency sought to curtail public comment on the FAA's own flight procedures website, including compelling members of the public to agree their input on the environmental impacts of proposed flight procedures won't count, as a condition of commenting on those procedures in the first place.

"Those decisions must not stand. We're fighting to give LA residents the chance to engage on a major issue affecting their quality of life, and, ideally, to create opportunities to find real solutions to noise and other concerns. And we're fighting for the American public's right to have their comments on FAA actions actually matter."

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti backed Feuer's decision, "Angelenos should be informed, heard, and presented with options for relief when flight path changes affect their communities. This did not happen when FAA implemented the new North Downwind Arrival flight path — and this lawsuit demands that the agency better engage the public and help protect our residents' quality of life."

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson added, "Since May of 2017, we have been working with city, state and federal officials to mitigate the non-stop disruptions to our constituents created by the FAA's implementation of the NextGen Metroplex program. It's unfortunate that it has come to a lawsuit, but I will do everything in my power to protect my constituents and their quality of life."

Three years ago, the FAA changed flight patterns for aircrafts landing at LAX, including consolidating flight patterns over West Adams and other communities in Mid-City and central LA, causing significant noise and other environmental impacts, according to the city attorney.

In May 2018, the FAA made further changes to the LAX flight arrival pattern but allegedly failed to perform the required environmental review or seek public comment, Feuer said.

Feuer is monitoring the FAA's actions with regard to the anticipated Environmental Assessment for Hollywood Burbank Airport, the arrival procedures for LAX, and in all other respects, the statement said.

The FAA does not comment on pending litigation. But a spokesperson told NBCLA that the agency is sensitive to noise concerns and said, "In pursuing solutions, it is critical we don't solve one community's noise issue by moving it to another community."

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