ARSAC (Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion) vice president Denny Schneider was elected president of ARSAC and Robert Acherman was elected vice president by the group’s board of directors earlier this month after former president Jennifer Dakoske Koslu resigned, citing personal workload issues. Dakoske Koslu will remain on ARSAC’s board of directors.
“As a mother of two young children, and a business owner, I feel that I must step down as president of ARSAC,” said Dakoske Koslu. “Unfortunately, although a settlement was reached last year [concerning the LAX Master Plan], it has become obvious that LAWA [Los Angeles World Airports] has no intention of honoring the true intentions fostered by and provided for in the settlement agreement and more time and energy must be devoted to continuing to fight for the residents of Playa del Rey and Westchester, and Denny Schneider is the man to lead us in this fight,” Dakoske Koslu said.
Los Angeles World Airports is the city agency that owns and operates Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Palmdale Airport, Van Nuys Airport and Ontario International Airport.
“Mrs. Dakoske Koslu has done an outstanding job in stopping LAX’s ill-conceived master plan from being implemented,” said Schneider. “It is now my responsibility to ensure that the intended settlement objectives of regionalization and limits on the growth of a modernized LAX are met.”
Schneider expressed personal thanks to Dakoske Koslu for all of her efforts and willingness to actively remain on the board of directors, and said the board of directors accepted her resignation with regret.
ARSAC and Schneider are currently focusing on the upcoming LAWA Specific Plan Amendment Study public outreach meetings that will address the controversial issues of reviewing and obtaining community input on the North Airfield Preliminary Concepts, and reuse opportunities for the Manchester Square area and LAX Northside properties.
The next two public outreach meetings scheduled are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, December 6th, and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, December 9th.
Both will be held at the Flight Path Learning Center, Imperial Terminal, 6661 W. Imperial Highway in Westchester.
Airport officials say that the two meetings are identical in the presentation of material and two are scheduled for public convenience.
“LAWA is attempting to use safety concerns as the basis for new north runway construction, and they have called for increased runway separation of an additional 340 feet north, adding a center-line taxiway, and lengthening runways,” said Schneider. “Aircraft safety breaches, known as incursions, are of varying degrees of seriousness.
“Incursion experience on the north runway complex is already lower than comparable airports in the U.S. Further, these occurrences have been assessed to be human error that wouldn’t be alleviated by the desired changes.
“At LAX, 80 percent of all incursions have occurred on the south complex despite comparable design separations.”
Schneider claims that “increased FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) controllers, reduced frequency of air traffic during peak hours, runway status lights, and collision avoidance systems would be more appropriate than spending millions of dollars to move these runways.”
LAX Northside properties are described as running along Westchester Parkway from approximately Sepulveda Boulevard to Pershing Drive and containing close to 350 acres.
Commercial property development was approved by the Los Angeles City Council for that site in the 1980s, but no development currently exists.
Manchester Square, bordered by Arbor Vitae Street, Century Boulevard and the San Diego Freeway (I-405), was a residential area where LAWA purchased homes and apartment buildings in the late 1990s, and encompasses a 0.5-by-0.5-mile area.
The concepts became available on-line at www.laxmaster plan.org/publicmeetings.cfm?cat egory=dec06 November 28th.
ARSAC’s position on the North Runway movement states that “any devised Master Plan must benefit the local communities, the traveling public, and the airlines that serve us.
“The recycling of old ideas is violating the spirit of the settlement agreement assurance, and we look forward to a simpler, common sense airport fix so that the spending of billions of dollars needlessly is avoided.
“Increased aircraft capacity with the corresponding noise, pollution and gridlock is just unacceptable,” ARSAC documentation states.
ARSAC was founded in 1995, and has been “the leading grassroots community organization dedicated to stopping airport expansion and capping passenger and cargo growth at LAX,” according to ARSAC documentation.
ARSAC also promotes the development and utilization of outlying regional airports such as Ontario and Palmdale to meet Southern California’s needs for future airport capacity, said Schneider.
In 2005, ARSAC endorsed Antonio Villaraigosa for mayor — Mayor Villaraigosa had been one of six major candidates to sign a “No LAX Expansion” pledge — and endorsed Bill Rosendahl for City Council.
Schneider said that both candidates promised not to expand LAX and support regionalization for airport development and both are keeping to their commitments.
In the successfully-negotiated settlement agreement in February this year to the legal challenge against the December 2004 LAX Master Plan Environmental Impact Report (EIR), ARSAC participated with co-litigants from Los Angeles County, the cities of Culver City, El Segundo and Inglewood, and elected officials in the LAX area in a Specific Plan Amendment Committee process conducted by LAWA, Schneider said.
According to ARSAC, the LAWA purpose is to develop a new Master Plan to modernize but not capacity-enhance LAX, and no impacts of the new plan may exceed that of the currently approved plan.
“Ultimately, LAWA and the City of Los Angeles elected officials are accountable to the court and the city voters to meet the settlement objectives with a new Master Plan that stays within current boundaries, meets environmental requirements, and reduces existing impacts on the surrounding communities,” is the stated ARSAC position.
“ARSAC and the co-litigants are a voice within the public process of plan development and have the right to go back to court to enforce this,” said Schneider.
Another settlement objective is the revitalization of the Southern California Regional Airport Authority (SCRAA), which is expected to disperse regional air traffic and ultimately improve economic viability of the region.