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Long Beach : Airport Policy Objections

February 27, 1986

A City Council committee voted unanimously Tuesday to order staff to draw up a list of objections to a proposed Federal Aviation Administration policy on airport access and capacity.

Members of the Airport Affairs Committee expressed concern that the federal policy would strip Long Beach and other cities of any control over the number of flights at airports, giving control instead to federal officials.

The airport access issue has been of paramount concern in Long Beach, where residents and airline interests have waged a protracted battle over how many commercial jet flights should be allowed at the city airport.

"It's terrifying," said Councilman Edd Tuttle, committee chairman and a longtime opponent of more flights at the airport. "With this policy, the federal government is saying in essence that it wants complete control."

If federal officials have their way, Tuttle warned, the number of flights at the airport would hinge on the overall capacity of the facility's main runway. City officials estimate the runway at Long Beach Airport could, in theory, handle up to 144 flights a day.

"This policy gives all the control of capacity and access to the federal government and takes it away from local officials," Tuttle said. "We're going to fight like crazy to see to it that doesn't occur."

After city staff draws up the report listing objections, Tuttle's committee will review the document and then forward it to the City Council for approval. The city will then present its objections during a March public hearing in Denver on the proposed FAA policy.

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