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.