Hoping to mollify neighbors suffering with noise and traffic, officials offered a new alternative Tuesday for a controversial expansion of Los Angeles International Airport.
The proposal calls for moving cargo operations to the airport's northern and eastern boundaries, adding an expressway from the San Diego Freeway to help keep traffic off surface streets and building a 6,700-foot runway exclusively for arrivals on the southern edge.
In addition, the two southern runways would be moved 400 feet closer to a reconfigured terminal area, and one of the two north runways would be moved so that a taxiway could be added.
The proposal gives city officials a third option for increasing operations at the airport, from the 60 million passengers who passed through in 1997 to 98 million by 2015. Cargo operations are expected to double during the same time.
City airports chief John Driscoll told Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Airport Commissioners that the latest proposal would add some protections for neighboring communities, particularly El Segundo, which has hired a consulting firm and joined with other communities to battle the expansion.
Driscoll said the option was developed after public hearings last year on the expansion proposal, formally known as the LAX Master Plan. The option was made possible after residents of nearby Manchester Square asked airport officials to move them rather than soundproof their apartments. Such a move would allow airport officials to eventually build a new cargo operations center on the properties.
But neighbors and others who jammed the meeting room for the unveiling of the proposal said the changes are not good enough. They want the city's airports in Ontario and Palmdale to take a much bigger share of future air operations.