In a bold move to block a plan to place the north runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) closer to nearby homes, Councilmember Bill Rosendahl today asked members of a Joint Committee to consider a comprehensive modernization proposal that would fast-track a number of critical airport projects while putting runway expansion on hold.
Rosendahl introduced the motion this afternoon during a special meeting of the Trade, Commerce, and Tourism and the Planning and Land Use Management committees.
The motion lists several modernization projects that are currently under construction or proposed for the airport without expanding the airport’s footprint in the neighboring Westchester and Playa del Rey communities. These improvements include a project to install Runway Status Lights at all runway intersections, as well as build a new Midfield Concourse, a Consolidated Rental Car Center, an Intermodal Transportation Facility, an Automated People Mover, and the connection of the Green Line to LAX.
“If what we really want is to create jobs and modernize LAX now, this is a better way,” said Rosendahl. “I want to fast-track the modernization projects that we all agree with and send the runway expansion to the back of the line.”
The runway expansion project would move the north runway 260 feet closer to homes in Westchester and Playa del Rey. The Councilmember and his constituents in the 11th District oppose this plan, countering that the costly project would only serve to increase noise and air pollution in neighboring communities, create a traffic nightmare in the region during construction, and dramatically disrupt the daily operations of local businesses.
Since the runway proposal was hatched, Rosendahl and his constituents have been busy building broad support for a modernization alternative that focuses on increasing passenger conveniences at LAX, without expanding the footprint of the airport.
“We don’t need to spend $700 million on an expanded runway,” said Rosendahl. “Our runways are extremely safe and efficient as they are. What we need are better terminals, more passenger conveniences, and easier access to LAX. Here is a comprehensive plan to do that in a way that makes sense for the environment, and best serves the people of Los Angeles.”
Rosendahl’s proposal will next be considered at a full meeting of the Los Angeles City Council, expected to take place within the next month.