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Noise Protesters Outline Rules for Truce

January 08, 1987|T.W. McGARRY | Times Staff Writer

In return for calling off a public hearing on noise from the Van Nuys Airport, homeowners groups are asking for more restrictions on the airport, including stricter limits on night flights and a freeze on helicopter and jet operations.

The president of Van Nuys Airport Assn., representing users and tenants, criticized the proposed restrictions as "crazy" and harmful to the city's economy.

The proposals were worked out by representatives of homeowners groups after meeting Tuesday with other participants in the planned hearing, said Don Schultz, president of Ban Airport Noise.

The hearing by a state administrative law judge, scheduled to begin Feb. 17, was arranged by the state Department of Transportation at the request of anti-noise protesters. It will consider renewal of the airport's variance, a Caltrans permit to operate without meeting state noise limits. Almost all urban airports in the state need variances, airport administrators say, because they cannot meet the standards.

Hearing participants gathered Tuesday and agreed it would be good to consider a pre-hearing settlement, said Assistant City Atty. Breton K. Lobner, who represents the city-owned airport. The protesters later worked out conditions for an agreement to drop insistence on a hearing, he said.

These include a demand that no increase be allowed in helicopter and jet operations, except for police, fire, military and other public emergency flights. The city also would agree to ban "touch-and-go" flight training on weekends and holidays, ban simultaneous takeoffs on the airport's two runways and impose other rules restricting takeoff techniques.

Another condition would tighten night-flight restrictions. Now, planes classed by the FAA as emitting more than 74 decibels on takeoff are ordered not to take off from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. The noise protesters want the curfew to apply to all but emergency flights, no matter what their noise rating.

The city also would have to promise that the airport will comply with state noise-control limits in three years.

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