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Long Beach : Flight Allocations Delayed

January 08, 1987

A federal judge this week delayed allocation of eight additional airline flights at Long Beach airport. But he promised a decision soon on which of the dozen air carriers competing for the new flights will prevail.

If U. S. District Judge Laughlin E. Waters follows a City of Long Beach plan, four airlines not now serving the airport will each get two of the new flights.

But attorneys for the five current carriers argued at Monday's hearing that their investment in time, equipment and the 3 1/2-year-old lawsuit against the city shows a commitment that should be rewarded by new flights.

The incumbent carriers have said they will have no incentive to reduce noise with quieter aircraft and operating methods if new flights allowed after noise reductions all go to new carriers.

Waters, who in 1983 found a city airport noise ordinance arbitrary and took control of airport flights, ordered the increase from 18 to 26 flights in October.

Trial on a new city noise ordinance and on how many flights Long Beach may ultimately have will not be scheduled until the Federal Aviation Administration submits its analysis of the ordinance.

An FAA spokesman said Monday that the agency, which had expected to respond this month, will not report to Waters for several weeks. The FAA has found city noise maps in support of the new ordinance to be "deficient" and it needs more time to get more information.

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