City News Service

FAA to Study Proposed Flight Changes at Bob Hope Airport

"The proposed changes have raised serious concerns about the effects of airplane noise in the area, and a thorough assessment should be completed before any changes are finalized," Sen. Diane Feinstein said in a statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday that it will order an environmental assessment of proposed departure procedure changes at Hollywood Burbank Airport to address noise concerns and complaints of some residents.

The decision was made after two public workshops on the proposed flight changes were held in November, according to the FAA, which is developing a timeline for preparing the assessment.

The additional study "will evaluate the potential impacts of the proposed amendments" to departure procedures and "any reasonable alternatives to the proposed amendments," according to the FAA.

A date had not been set for the proposed changes to go into effect.

"Following the workshops, there was no scheduled date on which they were to go into effect because we were deciding on the appropriate level of environmental review," FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The decision to conduct the assessment was hailed by elected officials, including Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

"The proposed changes have raised serious concerns about the effects of airplane noise in the area, and a thorough assessment should be completed before any changes are finalized," Feinstein said in a statement.

The senator went on to say that while the assessment will address long-term noise issues, "it doesn't address current noise complaints."

"I ask the FAA to work with my office, other elected officials, community groups and the Burbank and Van Nuys airports to find an immediate solution to this problem," Feinstein said.

Sherman, Feinstein, Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, have called for the establishment of a "community noise roundtable," which Feinstein said "would serve as a good forum to facilitate these discussions."

The FAA's decision follows Sherman's call last year for "a full environmental review process that evaluates several alternatives for possible departure routes to address the immediate noise impacting (San Fernando) Valley communities."

"The FAA needs to listen to Valley residents before they make it impossible for residents to hear themselves think," he said. "We need major changes."

Sherman called the decision to conduct the environmental assessment "an important development in our efforts to stop any future increase in aviation noise impacting San Fernando Valley homes, schools, and public spaces. But much more needs to be done to address the current levels, which are unacceptable,'' he said.

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