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Residents oppose LAX runway expansion plan

December 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A runway expansion plan is in the works for Los Angeles International Airport in order to accommodate bigger planes, but some nearby residents oppose the move.The plans include moving some runways about 400 feet to the north, bringing them closer to homes in Westchester.

Airport officials say they want to increase the amount of separation between the runways to make them safer and to be able to accommodate new larger airplanes.

The multibillion dollar expansion project is currently under environmental review.

A meeting was held at the Westchester Senior Center on Tuesday, where many community members gathered to hear a presentation from LAX officials about their expansion plans.

Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who hosted Tuesday's meeting, says an independent study has shown that there is no safety problem with the way the runways are currently configured.

Also, Rosendahl believes new runway status lights being installed will be a huge step in preventing runway close calls and accidents. Rosendhal and many residents believe the proposal's changes would be terrible for their quality of life.

"That would impact everybody in the Westchester area. We thought we put it to bed when we did a study with NASA and a group of professors that said it's extremely safe the way it is now," Rosendahl said.

"I'm more interested in modernizing LAX, because if you modernize LAX, it would no longer be the cheapest take off and landing metropolitan airport in the U.S.," he added.

This project could impact residents of El Segundo, Westchester, Playa del Rey, as well as the area near Inglewood.


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