Eighth District City Councilman Bernard Parks explained Monday, June 14th, why he is opposed to Mayor Jim Hahn’s LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) FEIR (final impact environment report) and the final master plan Alternative D. Parks is chair of the council’s Budget and Finance Committee
“My seven-point plan corrects the flaws in Mayor Hahn’s Alternative D proposal,” Parks said. “My plan clearly states what will be built, and more importantly, what will be permanently eliminated.
“The public deserves to know now exactly what is planned for LAX.”
Major points in Parks’ criticism of the mayor’s plan included:
– the extravagant and escalating costs of $9 billion, with no apparent return on this investment;
– the dated environmental impact report data;
– a convoluted planning process that continues to go on ignoring more practical alternatives;
– based on the Eighth District task force community reaction report, the LAX master plan fails to address quality of life issues in minority communities;
– the lack of a fully empanelled Los Angeles Airport Commission (currently three of the seven positions are vacant);
– the proposed RAND airport security evaluation study requested on Friday, May 14th, is too narrowly defined and the study has not been completed;
– most importantly, the rejection of these plans is mandatory as it is the only way to ensure that undesirable and objectionable parts of the plans are never constructed.
Parks presented an outline of his plan at a joint meeting of the Board of Airport Commissioners and the City Planning Commission Monday evening, June 14th
Parks said approval of six areas of his outline is mandatory to ensure that the 78 million annual passenger limit promised to the residents of the region is maintained. Under his proposal:
– Presently operating north- side concourses would remain intact. The Tom Bradley International Terminal would be enhanced and modernized to more comfortably welcome the traveling public into the U.S., and to accommodate the next generation of jumbo aircraft.
– Several of the existing Bradley gates would be replaced by a smaller number of larger-capacity gates on the terminal’s ends. The remote, add-on gates would be removed from service;
– Presently operating north- side runways would remain intact. The southern runways would be remodeled to accommodate the newer, larger aircraft;
– The Central Terminal parking and curbside check-in would be safety-enhanced to continue serving the public;
– a new consolidated rental car facility would be constructed to reduce the shuttle traffic inside the airport central area, and adequate public and private parking lots for personal cars would be maintained;
– A new inter-modal transportation facility would facilitate public conveyance use, and the Green Line train which now stops just short of LAX would be extended to provide LAX service, and also along the Aviation Boulevard/Florence Avenue right-of-way to downtown connections;
– Security and safety would be enhanced within the existing LAX footprint. Security and safety would be heightened within the secure perimeter. Security surrounding the extensive LAX cargo facilities would also be enhanced, and additional accommodations would reduce the impacts of trucks on local traffic;
– Manchester Square would remain as a part of the local community and not destroyed by enhancements of LAX. A separate restoration of those portions of the housing already removed would either be restored or a green belt, open space area would be created.
“As these extremely important issues of airport safety, security, facility use, expected growth of both population and annual passenger capacity, Southern California regional airport planning, operations and management must be elevated to the highest level of discussion,” Parks said.
“Serious attention and consideration must be given to two areas: completion of an updated Southern California regional airport plan, and the creation and implementation of a Regional Airports Authority.
“This regional plan and authority would ensure all impacted communities a voice and participation in the use and operations of airport facilities.
“I call on municipalities, state and federal agencies to quickly formulate such an authority.”