Van Nuys : Airport Department Chided Over Delays

Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs this week criticized the city Department of Airports for delays in completing a blueprint for growth for Van Nuys Airport.

In a letter faxed Thursday to John J. Driscoll, executive director of the department, Wachs wrote: "Progress on this plan has been dismally slow. This master plan has the potential for breaking new ground on how an airport can successfully function in a highly populated urban area. Instead, airport management has put the plan in what seems to be an infinite holding pattern."

The Van Nuys Airport Master Plan is intended to guide the growth and use of the airport for the next 20 years.

Driscoll responded that he did not think the delays had been overwhelming.

"I'm disappointed that it hasn't gone as fast as it could have," he said, "but we've dedicated staff and we'll move forward."

The administrator explained that work on the plan had been delayed by about nine months because the consultant working on the plan with a citizens advisory committee experienced financial problems.

The consultant, Los Angeles-based Planning Associates, was formerly known as Engineering Technology Inc.

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