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Van Nuys | Valley Focus

Expansion of Airport Noise Curfew Ordered

September 17, 1997|DARRELL SATZMAN

In a victory for residents and business owners who have fought for years to impose tough noise restrictions at Van Nuys Airport, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday instructed the city attorney to prepare an ordinance limiting the number of noisy jets based at the airfield and expanding a noise curfew.

"This is something we have all been fighting for for a long time," Councilman Joel Wachs said. "This will get the ball rolling as soon as possible."

Citing the long wait endured by those affected by airport noise, several San Fernando Valley lawmakers asked the city attorney to finish writing the ordinance as soon as possible.

In August, the Federal Aviation Administration gave the city authorization to enact the measures, which include extending an existing 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew on noisy jets one hour, starting at 10 p.m.

The ordinance would also prohibit any additional planes belonging to an older, noisier class of aircraft from being based at the airport.

Wachs also asked that language be included in the ordinance instructing airport management to begin a process that would add helicopters to the curfew.

"I think this is a good start; it's definitely a positive," said Don Schultz, president of the Van Nuys Homeowners Assn., who added that he hoped that the curfew could be extended further on weekends and holidays.

"It's only one hour, but that's another hour of sleep for residents who live nearby," he said.

With half a million takeoffs and landings last year, Van Nuys Airport is considered the busiest general aviation airport in the U.S., Wachs said.

Various proposals for alleviating noise problems associated with the airport have been considered for years, but the city was unable to act until the FAA confirmed that the measures would not violate the federal Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990.

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