The south airfield improvement project at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is scheduled to complete relocation of the southern runway by approximately April 1st, and work on the parallel center taxiway will then begin, with a completion date target of June next year, according to Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA) officials.

Airport officials updated the audience at the second of three meetings about the southern runway/center taxiway project that took place Thursday, February 22nd at the Westchester Community Center at 7166 Manchester Ave., Westchester.

Los Angeles World Airports officials said that Runway 7R-25L, which is being relocated 55 feet to the south of its current centerline location, will be reopened, and work will then begin to build a 75-foot wide parallel center taxiway between that runway and departure runway 7L/25R.

The presentation addressed the south airfield construction project schedule, mitigation measures, aircraft operations and construction noise monitoring.

The south airfield improvement project is the first LAX Master Plan project to be implemented and it is designed to improve airport safety by changing the way aircraft move about the LAX south airfield, said officials.

LAX was annually experiencing a number of runway incursions in which there was potential contact between aircraft, and to reduce these potential incursions, one runway is being relocated and a new parallel center taxiway is planned between the two south airfield runways at LAX, said officials.

The relocation of the runway includes the relocation and replacement of runway pavement, navigational and visual aids, and associated site work such as utilities, lighting, signage, drainage and structural improvements over the Sepulveda Tunnel, according to officials.

The project will minimize the potential for runway incursions by reconfiguring the existing high-speed taxiways on the south airfield that directly cross the departure runway (Runway 7L-25R), according to officials.

Arriving aircraft on the southern-most runway (Runway 7R-25L) will instead taxi onto the new parallel center taxiway and hold until it is clear to cross Runway 7L-25R, according to airport officials.

The south airfield improvement project began in March last year and is scheduled for completion in June next year, at an expected cost of $333 million, said officials.

Northern and southern airfield runways will stay open during the construction of the parallel center taxiway, said Jake Adams, engineering and project manager for Los Angeles World Airports.

During the relocation of Runway 7R-25L, south runway 7L-25R and the two northern runways were used for air traffic arrivals and departures.

Scott Tatro of Los Angeles World Airports Noise Management Division reported on aircraft noise pre-closure and post-closure (closure took place July 26th) of Runway 7R/25L, and said that the northern runways have had increased use for both departures and arrivals since the one southern runway was closed for construction.

Tatro presented statistics concerning the daily operations total for LAX, and an operations analysis for over-ocean departures, easterly departures, early turns to the south and north and short-turn arrivals.

Tatro said that in the noise analysis of aircraft of the pre-closure and post-closure period for the south runway — four months before closure and four months after closure of the runway on July 26th — the number of complaints from cities about air traffic noise changed. (See inset at right.)

Adams said the environmental commitment to the community has been the mitigation and monitoring of construction noise, and traffic and air quality, and that monitors have been set up from 600 feet within the community, rather than the required 600 feet from the project.

Under a mandatory construction noise control plan, airport officials have received seven noise complaints, and only four turned out to be from the runway construction project.

Adams said that in September, complaints of a loud, booming noise lasting until 10 p.m. came in to the noise control telephone number.

After investigating, the noise was found to be coming “from a car used by the Lakers (basketball team) with a stereo that had really good speakers,” said Adams.

One of the other complaints came after emergency work on a runway required using a jackhammer at 4 a.m., according to Adams.

“The noise hotline is our barometer to judge our mitigation compliance,” Adams said.

Adams said that a compliance officer sits at the construction entry gate every morning, and contractors are assessed penalties for various violations, including debris falling off trucks or beginning work earlier than allowed.

All diesel equipment on the construction site meets or exceeds applicable standards for emission, and devices on the construction equipment that collect particulate matter with a filter have prevented 60 tons of particulate matter from getting into the air, Adams claimed.

PUBLIC COMMENT— During public comment, a speaker asked about airplanes making early turns over the ocean, and officials said that FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) officials mandate early turns.

One speaker suggested that there be a small aircraft monitor, because of the increase of corporate jets in the area.

Another speaker asked if smaller general aviation airplanes were coming to LAX because the Santa Monica Airport had increased its landing fees, and was told that Los Angeles World Airports hadn’t heard about it but would check into it.

A speaker asked what the telephone numbers are for construction noise complaints and other complaints about aircraft.

The number for construction noise-related complaints associated with the south airfield project is (866) 758-5292.

Complaints about construction traffic associated with the south airfield project, (310) 417-2311.

For complaints related to aircraft noise, (310) 646-6473.

All of the statistics presented by Tatro and information at the meeting will be posted on the Los Angeles World Airports Web site for downloading “by early March,” according to Mike Doucette, chief of regional planning for the agency.

For more information, click on “South Airfield Construction” at www.laxmasterplan.org

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