Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration Thursday demanding that planes departing Hollywood Burbank Airport return to a more northerly flight path, saying a recent shift to the south was never approved and takes aircraft out of previously adopted routes.
Feuer called on the FAA to issue a "Tower Order" within 30 days directing air traffic controllers to "direct departing aircraft to follow the flight tracks that were modeled in the Environmental Assessment for the 2017 Departure Procedures, and thus correct the erroneous 'southern shift' of the Runway 15 departure tracks.''
Residents of neighborhoods such as Sherman Oaks and Studio City have vehemently complained in recent months about the shifting flight pattern, saying departing planes are flying closer to their homes and at lower altitudes, creating more noise.
In his letter, Feuer said the southward shift of departing flights never went through an environmental assessment or public review process, and it violates the route that was established in a 2017 Record of Decision reached as part of the review of the Southern California Metroplex flight-path project.
He also said returning the flights to the previously agreed-upon departure path can be done immediately without another lengthy environmental assessment.
"The city's requested actions are a feasible and direct measure to ensure FAA complies with the flight tracks that were presented to the public and analyzed and relied on by FAA in issuing the ROD," Feuer wrote. "Since the southerly shift was implemented informally without formal rulemaking, the elimination of this erroneous change can similarly be implemented administratively through a Tower Order ... or similar internal agency directive."
Feuer wrote that the city is "simply seeking compliance with FAA conclusions in its 2017 ROD."