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Hollywood Burbank official explains why a joint task force is needed to address noise issues

Hollywood Burbank Airport
The first meeting of a joint task force aimed at solving noise issues out of Hollywood Burbank and Van Nuys airports will take place at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
(File Photo)

Patrick Lammerding, deputy executive director of planning and development for Hollywood Burbank Airport, said this week that having a task force is the right approach to get the Federal Aviation administration to consider implementing a fix to change flight paths and alleviate noise issues over Studio City, Sherman Oaks and other communities in the south San Fernando Valley.

Hollywood Burbank, with help from the Los Angeles World Airports, will host its first joint task force meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport, located at 2500 N. Hollywood Way, where representatives from several agencies will discuss and eventually plan to draft a recommendation for the FAA to consider mitigating noise over the south San Fernando Valley.

The first meeting of the joint task force to solve airport noise issues will be on Aug. 28.

Lammerding, who was previously employed by the FAA as an assistant manager and an airport safety inspector for the agency’s Los Angeles district office, said the FAA is more receptive to considering a recommended flight path change if it is comprehensive and vetted.

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The meetings will be moderated by consultant HMMH Inc., a firm well-versed with airport noise issues that has not done any work for Hollywood Burbank before, Lammerding said.

Lammerding is encouraging residents to bring their ideas to the task force, and if members are curious about any recommendation, they can hand the suggestions to the consultants to determine if they are feasible.

“[It’s] important to have that resource for the task force,” he said. “Otherwise, they’re just guessing at what works. This will ensure that we have something with the highest feasibility and analysis.”

At the end of the task force meetings, Lammerding said he hopes the group will come to a consensus on a proposal that works for all of the communities involved, but he added that it will be up to FAA officials if they want to consider the recommended changes.

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The airports cannot force the federal agency to change flight paths, Lammerding said, but having a feasible plan that has been reviewed could convince the FAA to adjust the flight paths.

“Unless they’re told otherwise, in a valid way, they’re going to evaluate their own design on those [flight] procedures,” Lammerding said. “They know what we’re doing here and they know that it would be in their best interest to watch what we’re doing and get that set of recommendations from us before moving forward with anything else.”

Hollywood Burbank officials have been fielding noise concerns for the past two years and they, like those affected by the flights leaving the airfield, say they want to see the issue addressed.

Members of the task force include Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy and Vice Mayor Sharon Springer, Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian and Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, as well as Los Angeles City Council members Paul Krekorian, Paul Koretz, David Ryu and Nury Martinez.

Other members include representatives for U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstien and Kamala Harris and U.S. Reps. Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman and Tony Cardenas.

The FAA will have a representative listening to the discussions, but they will not be a voting member.

Residents from those communities have called the task force a stall tactic, and they have insisted that Hollywood Burbank implement immediate relief to reduce the noise emanating from the aircraft departing from the airfields.

The FAA recently acknowledged that flights leaving Burbank from the south have been making their northbound turns more frequently over Studio City, Sherman Oaks and other neighborhoods in that region.

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Those northbound turns were historically made farther north near the 101 Freeway.

Some residents say that the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System, a satellite-based radar system that was implemented in Southern California in 2017, is to blame for the flight path shifts, while others think that weather and a recovering economy, which has resulted in additional flights, are the cause.

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