Report: LAX not dispersing flights

Feb. 4, 2013 at 7:51 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Operators at Los Angeles International Airport have not done enough to disperse commercial flights to other regional airports, an official said.

Los Angeles World Airports, the airport oversight and operations department for the city's airports was required to begin distributing flights to airports other than LAX to reduce effects on the environment, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. The requirement was part of a 2006 court settlement in a series of lawsuits against LAX's expansion.

Los Angeles chief executive William Fujioka said airport operators have only made "token efforts" to comply with the provisions of the settlement.

A report by Los Angeles County released in October indicated Los Angeles World Airports missed opportunities to expand air traffic growth at LA/Ontario International Airport. The passenger volume at that airport decreased from 7.2 million in 2007 to 4.3 million in 2012, the Times reported.

The LA/Palmdale Regional Airport also closed in 2009 though LAX officials said that was due to the recession, something out of their control.

Meanwhile, LAX is seeking to separate its two northern runways by 260 feet to accommodate a larger generation of airplanes. Opponents said the move will bring flight operations closer to Westchester and Playa del Rey neighborhoods, where residents indicated concern over an increase in noise, air pollution and traffic.

Fujioka said Los Angeles World Airports have been meeting with county officials to resolve the conflict.

"We've had some positive conversations," he said. "We're trying to find an appropriate solution. I want a good outcome and something that benefits both the county and the airport."

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