Van Nuys Airport Expansion

We are told that we have a treasure in our midst, the Van Nuys Airport, a moneymaker for the San Fernando Valley, (“Study Profiles a Major Contributor to Valley Economy,” Jan. 24). This would be true if this statement were to come from an industry that does not affect the quality of life of its neighbors. Thank God for the “small group of emotional activists,” who certainly speak for me and I believe for thousands of residents in this area.

What we are trying to drive home here is that an airport like Van Nuys is not compatible with a residential area. The airport is in a very desirable area for which residents pay millions of dollars in property taxes and for services to the city. Further expansion of the airport in its present location will change this situation by making the surrounding area less desirable to live in and reducing its tax base to the great loss of revenue to the city and deterioration of the neighborhood. Los Angeles has plenty of examples to that effect.

I am not saying to close the airport but to keep this facility to the size and purpose for which it was meant. As for the use of the airport by police and fire department helicopters: There is not only one police station for the entire Valley. This can be shared with other airports, each serving its own immediate area.



Regarding the Board of Airport Commissioners meeting at Van Nuys: The seriousness of the noise issue, as defined by residents, is such that many persons, including myself, attended from out of the area with the hope of respectfully commenting to the commissioners for two minutes.

Unfortunately, many people, including locals on both sides of the issue, could not speak because several elected officials used unlimited time to state their views. One has to wonder if their position would be different if they felt that aviation could muster enough votes to run them out of office.


Although I did not get the opportunity to speak, nevertheless, your readers may wish to know that a major complaint of a group called Stop the Noise centers around an airport tenant who, in their opinion, is rude because the business “promotes a user-friendly facility” with a “staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” a “large ramp supporting up to Boeing 727s” and (get this) “competitive jet fuel prices.” Stop the Noise listed this as “fact” in an “urgent community alert” mailer.

JON RODGERS, President, National Air Transportation Oversight Commission, Alameda