Proposal Targets Noise From Airport

In an effort to help alleviate noise problems associated with the Van Nuys Airport, Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs introduced a motion Tuesday instructing airport officials to prepare an ordinance encompassing several measures recently approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The motion, which is expected to go before the council next Tuesday, was supported by council members Cindy Miscikowski, Laura Chick, Hal Bernson and Mike Feuer.

In a letter dated Aug. 28, the FAA agreed that the city has the right to carry out several noise mitigation measures, including restricting the hours of flights and the types of aircraft that may use the airport, Wachs said.

“These steps are welcome news to residents who over the years have been plagued by airport noise,” Wachs said. “Now that the FAA has given the clearance for these measures to take off, the city should act without delay to make these changes into law, and to ensure that these laws are enforced.”


Specifically, the FAA agreed that the current curfew, which prohibits the departure from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. of aircraft that generate more than 74 decibels, could be extended to 10 p.m.

Helicopters would also be included in the curfew.

The FAA also approved the establishment of a rule that would prohibit an increase in the number of noisier jets using the airport, Wachs said.

Various proposals for mitigating airport noise have been considered for years, but the city was unable to act until the FAA confirmed that the measures would not violate the federal Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990.

“We’ve been waiting for the FAA to say that we are allowed to do this,” said Tom Henry, planning deputy for Wachs. “Now we have it and we’d like to get this in front of the council immediately.”