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South Bay Digest

Torrance : Aviation Center Approved

January 15, 1987

Despite warnings from neighbors that a new general aviation center at Torrance Municipal Airport could bring commuter airlines to town, the City Council decided to go ahead with plans for the facility.

The center, which will be built near the control tower, will house airport administration, a noise abatement center, pilot flight planning room, public waiting area and a community meeting room.

Those operations currently are spread out in different buildings, some of which are outdated, according to city officials and pilots.

"The airport has long been in disrepair," said Ted Stinis, president of the Torrance Area Pilots Assn."

Neighborhood activist Joseph Arciuch opposed construction, arguing that "the general aviation center as proposed here may be the last link leading to commuter airlines."

Michael Bedinger, president of the Council of Homeowners Assns. of Torrance, warned the council that the Federal Aviation Administration might force the airport to accept commuter airlines "if you have something that even smells like a general aviation center."

Bedinger and Arciuch have long sought limits on the airport because of noise.

City Manager LeRoy Jackson told the council that it is unlikely but not impossible that the FAA would insist on such a change. "It would take a major change in the philosophy of the federal government and the FAA," he said.

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