L.A. suing FAA over increased airplane noise, new flight paths at LAX

Sid Garcia Image
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Increased noise from LAX prompts city lawsuit
The city of Los Angeles is suing the federal government over flight path changes that have increased the airplane noise in neighborhoods near LAX.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Residents of neighborhoods near LAX say they've seen big increases recently in airplane noise after the federal government approved new flight path regulations.

Now the Los Angeles city attorney is filing a lawsuit against the FAA, saying those changes were made without proper review or public input.

The flight path changes went into effect last year.

Kent Watson of the West Adams district says the increased noise keeps him awake.

"It disturbs me all night," Watson said. "Up until 1 in the morning you can hear the flights and they're lower and lower. The flight pattern has changed and it causes disturbances especially for those who sleep lightly."

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer says he's taking the Federal Aviation Administration to court to force the agency to hold public hearings that would allow the residents in the affected neighborhoods to voice their concerns.

"What we're hearing from those communities is there's more noise than we ever had before, there's more frequent noise than we ever had before," Feuer said. "And at night it's a particular issue."

The FAA tells Eyewitness News it doesn't comment on pending litigation. However, the agency says it did conduct extensive public outreach, including public workshops and webinars and scores of briefings to elected and appointed officials as part of the environmental review.

According to the Bureau of Transportation, flights in and out of LAX in the past decade had been increasing about 1.5 percent per year. However, between 2016 and 2018, when new FAA flight-path rules went into effect, flights increased 3 percent per year.

Some long-time residents of the area say they've just gotten used to noise over the years.

"I think it's just one of those things that we can tolerate here," said Melany Felix of West Adams.

The city says it may be months before the court makes a decision or even holds a hearing on the issue.