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South Bay Digest

Torrance : Aviation Center Delayed

August 13, 1987

After representatives of airport businesses, pilots and residents criticized plans for a new General Aviation Center at Torrance Municipal Airport, the City Council postponed approval despite staff warnings that delays will be costly.

Homeowners from surrounding neighborhoods voiced fears that a community meeting room planned for the facility might form the nucleus of a terminal for commercial airline flights.

Pilots argued that a proposed flight-planning room is too small and that their quarters do not have an adequate view of the runways.

The business representatives said the west wing of the building, which is set back from the east wing, should be brought forward to improve the view of runways.

A spokesman for the Airport Commission said the plan had been developed by the city staff and did not reflect recommendations from the three groups.

After listening to the criticism, council members said they favored most of the ideas in the design but wanted to study the suggestion that the fronts of the two wings be aligned. They directed staff to return in 30 days with suggested design alterations.

The 14,000-square-feet facility, as designed by the Glendale-based architectural firm of Wendell Mounce, includes offices for airport administration and operations, noise abatement, a public and pilots lounge, a community meeting room, a food service area and a garage.

The estimated cost of the building is $1.4 million and is to be financed by revenue bonds. City Manager LeRoy Jackson said the bonds must be paid back beginning in November, 1988, whether or not the building is completed.

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