The City Council unanimously approved a design for a new $1.6-million general aviation center after receiving assurances from the Federal Aviation Administration that it had no power to order the city to turn part of it into a passenger lounge for commuter airlines.
Construction is expected to be completed within two years.
Neighbors of the airport had expressed fears that the FAA would force the city to accept a commuter airline at Torrance Municipal Airport and then insist that a meeting room intended for community use in the new facility be turned over to the airline. The FAA has designated the Torrance Municipal Airport as a facility that should relieve congestion at Los Angeles International Airport.
In a Sept. 4 letter from the FAA's regional counsel, the city was told that it might be required to accept a commuter airlines at the airport but that the city could not be required to convert the meeting room into a passenger terminal.
The council had held up design approval until the letter was received.