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Wed, Jul 19, 2006

LA County To Outlaw Older, Noisier Planes At Van Nuys?

Business Leaders Fear Traffic Cuts At Busy GA Airport

City leaders in Los Angeles have resurrected an argument sure to raise the ire of some charter and corporate aviators. They're again proposing a ban on all Stage-2 aircraft -- unmodified jets built between 1965 and 1987.

Folks who live in the San Fernando Valley have lobbied for years to get rid of the noisy aircraft... saying they can't even talk on the phone when Stage-2 aircraft pass overhead.

"I came to the Valley in 1953 looking for peace and tranquillity, but now many of us cannot sit on our patios and have a conversation," local resident Bill Mouzis told airport commissioners at a recent meeting. "Never again can we allow the interests of the airport business community to supersede those of residents."

Now, the LA Airport Commission wants its staff to come up with a plan to phase out Stage-2 flights at Van Nuys Airport... which bills itself as the world's busiest airport for general aviation.

In fact, a noise study is now underway at Van Nuys, where the commission is considering banning nighttime flight operations and limiting or doing away with all helicopter traffic.

The FAA has to sign off on any such restrictions or bans... and, as the LA Times reports, the agency hasn't been all that anxious to do so in the past.

You can bet airport business owners are fighting mad.

"Since 1981, business operators at Van Nuys Airport have faced the imposition of 19 business-constraining measures that have diminished both revenues and jobs at one of the Valley's most significant economic engines," wrote airport consultant, and co-chair of the aviation committee for the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, Robert L. Rodine in a recent letter to airport officials. "The economic significance of the measures to both business and the city, as lost tax revenues, is enormous."

Rodine adds that if city officials are bent on enacting these restrictions -- as Mayor Anthony Villairagosa promised during his campaign -- Los Angeles stands to lose a whole lot of money.



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