Tweets posted on Burbank air traffic controller’s account offend community groups

Hollywood Burbank Airport
An air traffic controller working at Hollywood Burbank Airport allegedly wrote disparaging tweets aimed at residents affected by aircraft noise coming from the airport.
(File Photo)

Tweets posted on an account apparently owned by an air-traffic controller at Hollywood Burbank Airport and a Federal Aviation Administration employee, have offended some community groups, including UproarLA, which was formed to address airport-noise issues in the Los Angeles area.

The tweets make disparaging remarks regarding comments made by southern San Fernando Valley residents during recent public meetings addressing ongoing airport noise issues.

The tweets appear to have been posted during the first two meetings of the Southern San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force on Aug. 28 and Sept. 11, and make belittling comments about the issues raised by residents impacted by departing flights out of the Burbank airport for the past two years.

Devin Duran, an air traffic controller who works at Hollywood Burbank Airport, posted disparaging tweets aimed at the south San Fernando Valley residents affected by airplane noise.
(Image via Twitter)

The Twitter account apparently owned by Devin Duran, which had 211 followers, was made private Tuesday afternoon. The Leader attained screenshots of the tweets while the account was still public.

The Leader sent a direct message to Duran on Twitter, but he did not respond, and his account was no longer public soon afterward.

“Talk about extra as [expletive], these people brought a PA system and played jet traffic noise at full volume when the meeting was adjourned,” one tweet stated during the Aug. 28 meeting. “I’m gonna assume it was the @UproarLA1 [sic] folk.”

At the bottom of the tweet was an animated gif of actor Robert Downey Jr. rolling his eyes.

A tweet later that night stated: “Its [sic] clear that not one person that spoke understands the complexity of the congested airspace that is BUR VNY SMO and LAX.”

The tweet was referring to the air traffic around Hollywood Burbank Airport, Van Nuys Airport, Santa Monica Municipal Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.

The task force, made up of city and federal representatives, was created to address noise concerns expressed by several residents from Studio City, Sherman Oaks and other communities in the southern San Fernando Valley regarding airplanes leaving Hollywood Burbank.

Airport officials and the FAA have acknowledged that airplanes departing from Hollywood Burbank have moved farther south before making their northbound turns, so they fly over neighborhoods in the southern San Fernando Valley.

Members from UproarLA and other community groups like Studio City for Quiet Skies have been trying to work with airport and FAA officials to find a solution for the past two years.

In the past few months, the recently formed task force has been working to address the noise concerns over the southern San Fernando Valley,but the tweets on Duran’s account have some residents second-guessing those efforts.

“Our community has long felt lied to and ridiculed by the FAA. At every step of the way in our two-year fight, they’ve shown they are not taking the community’s pain seriously,” wrote Lisa Carloss, a board member of UproarLA in an email on Tuesday.

“These public tweets from the FAA’s representative in the Burbank [air traffic control] tower embody how the FAA treats the communities across the country it is devastating through its failed NextGen program. This is the person that actually controls the planes flying at low altitudes over our homes. It validates our feelings have been right all along — the FAA just doesn’t care,” Carloss added.

The Next Generation Air Transportation System, known as NextGen, is a satellite-based navigation system implemented by the FAA to make flights across the country more efficient.

“Our community has long felt lied to and ridiculed by the FAA. At every step of the way in our two-year fight, they’ve shown they are not taking the community’s pain seriously”

— Lisa Carloss, a board member of UproarLA

NextGen was implemented in Southern California in March 2017, and some residents think the new system is the reason why there are more flights over the south San Fernando Valley.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said in a statement on Tuesday the tweets do not represent the federal agency or the position of the FAA.

“The FAA is aware of and sensitive to community concerns. The agency is committed to supporting the San Fernando Valley Task Force as the panel works to develop consensus recommendations to address the communities’ issues,” Gregor wrote.

“The FAA will consider the recommendations that the task force proposes,” he added.

Doug Church, spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Assn., a labor union that represents air traffic controllers hired by the FAA, said on Tuesday that Duran does not hold an office that allows him to speak on behalf of the union.

Officials at Hollywood Burbank Airport declined to comment.

The next meeting of Southern San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 6 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport, 2500 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank.

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