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Santa Monica Airport path creates noise issue

May 24, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A flight path at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport has been changed, bringing more noisy planes overhead for angry residents who want the changes called off."Oh, god. I'm waiting for the air raid siren. It's insane," said one resident.

"It's the equivalent of aircraft water torture," said Santa Monica resident Andre Nemec.

The sound of birds chirping in Sunset Park and Ocean Park is giving way to engines. It's the result of an FAA experiment that has opened a 'slow lane' of sorts to increase efficiency at Santa Monica Municipal Airport and LAX.

"They want to put a slow, loud, gross polluter aircraft lane right over this neighborhood. Propeller planes, they make a lot of noise, they put out a lot of emissions, they're dirty, they fly low. It's just unacceptable," said Nemec.

The FAA's test, which now has planes flying over six schools, started in December but residents weren't notified. Santa Monica Airport director Robert Trimborn advised the FAA not to alter the flight tracks and the number of complaints he has coming in has taken off.

"I think over the weekend, we had about 1,500 e-mail complaints that came in and about 145 voice mail complaints, and that's pretty much the most we've ever had over any issue at the airport," described Trimborn.

"It's just an accident waiting to happen in this neighborhood, and a lot of residents are scared over this issue," said Nemec.

The test period for the new flight route ends in June. At that point, the FAA can go ahead and make it permanent, but the residents in Santa Monica are hoping that their complaints will be heard and the FAA will reconsider.


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