During its past four meetings, the Southern San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force has heard from community groups in the region that want immediate relief from the noise created by departing aircraft out of Hollywood Burbank and Van Nuys airports by shifting flight paths north of the 101 Freeway.
However, members of the Valley Village Homeowners Assn. on Wednesday had a different take on the matter. They said the best solution involves not burdening one or two communities in the region with the noise in order to benefit other neighborhoods.
More than 300 people attended the fifth task force meeting on Wednesday, which was held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport in Burbank.
Beth Fulton, president of the Valley Village HOA, said there is no denying that numerous aircraft are flying over neighborhoods in the south San Fernando Valley — mainly Studio City and Sherman Oaks — where they did not fly before the implementation of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Generation Air Transportation System, known as NextGen, in March 2017.
However, Fulton argued against the validity of the data regarding the number of complaints the Hollywood Burbank Airport has received regarding airplane noise.
According to data provided by Hollywood Burbank, the airport received 364,512 complaints from 730 individuals in the second quarter of 2019.
Prior to NextGen being implemented, the airport received 132 complaints from 74 people.
However, airport officials stated that in July 2019, there were 115,004 complaints from 370 individuals, but about half of those complaints came from 21 people who averaged 2,276 complaints per person.
That is due to the use of a service called Airnoise.io, in which users can instantaneously report a noise complaint with just a click of a button, Fulton said.
“There’s no data that indicates a level of change proportional to the outcry,” Fulton said while being booed by about half of those in attendance Wednesday night.
NextGen is a satellite-based navigation system the FAA has implemented at airports across the country to improve flight efficiency and safety.
When the system was installed in Southern California, residents from Burbank and neighborhoods in the south San Fernando Valley said they began noticing changes.
Airplanes leaving Hollywood Burbank would depart to the south and make a northbound turn more frequently over the south San Fernando Valley.
Prior to NextGen, airplanes made their northbound turns near the 101 Freeway.
Several community groups, such as UproarLA, Studio City for Quiet Skies and Sherman Oaks/Encino for Quiet Skies have pleaded with the task force at prior meetings to implement measures that would require the flights make their northbound turns as soon as possible, with many using the 101 Freeway as the most southern border of where the turns should occur.
Also on Wednesday, members of Burbank for Quiet Skies presented their recommendations to the task force, which included having airplanes depart at a steeper ascent angle, make their northbound turns sooner and implement stricter after-hour noise rules at Hollywood Burbank.
“Get ‘em up, get ‘em over,” said Audrey Ford, a founding member of Burbank for Quiet Skies.
However, Fulton said those options would put the flight paths back over Valley Village and that portion of the San Fernando Valley, which has historically been under Hollywood Burbank’s departing flight path and something they don’t want to experience again.
“We are all entitled to not be bombarded with noise,” she said. “How can we work together to find solutions that might mitigate these problems? I believe it starts with focusing on recommendations that place a priority on equitability within the realm of safety.”
When asked where the flight paths should go, Fulton and Paul Hatfield, the past president emeritus of the Valley Village HOA, said they don’t have the technical expertise to tell airport and aviation officials where flights should go other than to say the noise should be shared by all communities in the San Fernando Valley.
“We’re not here to say that those in Studio City and Sherman Oaks are not telling the truth,” Fulton said. “What we’re here to say is don’t forget about us. We’ve been experiencing this [expletive] for 20 years.”
The next meeting of the Southern San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force is scheduled for Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport, 2500 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank.