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Judge Allocates 8 New Flights at L. B. Airport

January 22, 1987

LONG BEACH — A federal judge has allocated eight new flights at Long Beach Airport to four airlines not now serving the city.

However, the new flights, which will increase the daily total to 26, cannot begin until after a federal appellate court hearing in March.

The city appealed the new-flight order of U.S. District Judge Laughlin E. Waters of Los Angeles in December, arguing that it undercuts a new airport noise ordinance that would allow more flights only after noise is reduced in nearby residential areas.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Waters' order without comment last week. If it is eventually allowed to stand, two flights each will go to Western Airlines, Air California, America West and Ozark Airlines, said Waters in a letter mailed to airline and city lawyers last Thursday.

The city had suggested the allocation plan adopted by Waters. Attorneys for the five current airlines at the airport had argued that their investment in time, equipment and a 3 1/2-year-old lawsuit against the city should be rewarded by new flights.

The incumbent carriers have said that 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, is expected to rule on the legality of the new city noise ordinance and on how many flights Long Beach may ultimately have after a trial this year.

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