Airplane Noise Task Force Offers Recommendations

In 2017, communities throughout the South San Fernando Valley began experiencing dramatic changes in the amount and location of airplane noise from Burbank and Van Nuys airports.  Many neighborhoods that had never before experienced significant aircraft disturbance were suddenly being barraged with a nearly constant series of planes overhead producing disruptive, roaring noise. 

After the Federal Aviation Administration received outraged complaints and threats of litigation over the southerly shift in the flight paths and increased noise impacts, the Southern San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force was formed to develop recommendations to the FAA to address these impacts.  Councilmember Krekorian was selected to serve as Vice Chair of the Task Force, which has received hundreds of public comments, heard presentations from community groups representing the impacted neighborhoods, and consulted with aviation and airline industry experts.   

This week, the task force debated and approved a series of recommendations that it will submit to the FAA.  If adopted by the FAA, these recommendations would reduce overall disruption for ALL communities in the southeast San Fernando Valley.
Among the many Task Force recommendations were:
  • immediately restoring Burbank departing flight tracks to historic conditions prior to 2007, and rejecting new proposed departure procedures that would have forced more flights into new airspace above the Studio City hills;
  • rejecting a proposal to place guidance "waypoints" along the Ventura Freeway, which would have concentrated flight tracks above Valley Village and North Hollywood;
  • increasing the rate at which aircraft must ascend so planes get higher, faster
  • adopting procedures that will disperse departing flights so that no one neighborhood experiences an inequitable share of flight noise;
  • adopting procedures to cause more flights to depart Burbank to the east, thus avoiding CD2 altogether;
  • instituting enforceable curfews at both Burbank and Van Nuys airports;
  • creating a Citizens Advisory Committee for Burbank Airport to address community concerns.
Although these recommendations are important steps forward, the power to implement them lies with the federal government.  Councilmember Krekorian emphasized the importance of continuing neighborhood advocacy to ensure that the federal government acts to protect the people and communities of the southeast San Fernando Valley.