Los Angeles World Airports has hired the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to look at all “current and future safety issues on the north airfield” of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) 9is the city agency that operates LAX and four other airports.

“We finally have what we have been asking for: an independent, credible study of safety issues on the north field,” said 11th District Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes LAX.

Rosendahl made the announcement Thursday, September 27th.

Rosendahl said that once the study is completed, it’s likely that many people will disagree about how to solve identified problems, but “at least we won’t have reason to disagree about what the problems are.

“If runway movement is indicated, I will vigorously oppose northward movement, and advocate for an alternative solution.”

The scope of the study was developed with the unanimous cooperation of the North Airfield Runway Safety Committee (NORSAC), which includes representatives of the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion (ARSAC), the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey, Rosendahl’s office, and the offices of U.S. Congresswomen Jane Harman and Maxine Waters, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, who represents the Fourth District, which includes LAX, said Rosendahl.

Rosendahl also said the study will be unprecedented in its transparency and inclusiveness, and that NASA’s credentials and integrity are unimpeachable.

North Airfield Runway Safety Committee members framed the questions NASA will answer, and they have been invited to observe the simulations NASA will conduct, with NASA conferring with the committee over the next few months while the study is in progress, Rosendahl said.

Improvement of the north airfield can’t wait while the NASA study is being conducted, said Rosendahl, and he wants several things to happen immediately.

“Air traffic controllers continue to approach me with warnings that staffing levels at the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] are dangerously low — that is a safety issue,” stated Rosendahl. “So is the lack of runway status lights. I am pleased LAWA and the FAA are working on a plan to install them.

“I am pushing to have the lights on-line by the end of the year. I expect a report to the City Council soon on a timeline for expediting installation of the warning lights.”

Rosendahl said he applauds everyone for their willingness to work together on this issue and in addition to the North Airfield Runway Safety Committee members, he thanked Gina Marie Lindsey, the executive director of the airport agency, as well as airport commissioners Val Velasco, Alan Rothenberg and Walter Zifkin for their work “in helping us reach consensus.”

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