Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that operates Los Angeles International Airport, has scheduled two scoping meetings next month to gain public input on a revised Notice of Preparation of a draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the airport’s Specific Plan Amendment Study.

Both meetings will be held at the Proud Bird Restaurant, 11011 Aviation Blvd., Westchester. The first meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, and the second meeting is scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 6.

The public will be able to view the Nov. 6 meeting via webcast beginning at 9:15 a.m. at:

www.ustream.tv/channel/lawa-meetings/.

The proposed project consists of a Specific Plan Amendment Study, including related amendments to the adopted LAX Plan and LAX Specific Plan. Airport officials said potential amendments will be identified through the evaluation of potential alternative designs, technologies, and configurations for the LAX Master Plan Program that would provide solutions to the problems that certain LAX Master Plan projects, referred to as the “yellow light projects” were designed to address, consistent with a practical airport capacity at 78.9 million annual passengers.

This is the same practical capacity as included in the approved LAX Master Plan, airport officials noted. Yellow light projects are those subject to particular approval procedures in the LAX Specific Plan and include the following:

Develop a Ground Transportation Center (GTC);

Construct an Automated People Mover 2 (APM2) from the GTC to the Central Terminal Area (CTA);

Demolish CTA Terminals 1, 2 and 3;

North runway reconfiguration, including center taxiways; and

Make on-site road improvements associated with the GTC and people mover.

Potential environmental effects that may result from the proposed alternatives include aesthetics, air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, greenhouse gas emissions, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology/water quality, land use/planning, noise, public services, transportation/traffic and public utilities, states LAWA documentation.

LAWA originally issued a notice of preparation for this project in March 2008. New circumstances and information have led LAWA to reconsider and refine various options for the potential alternative designs, technologies and configurations to be evaluated in the amendment study and its EIR, airport officials said.

The NOP is available online and will be posted at the Los Angeles City Clerk’s office and the Los Angeles County Clerk desk. For information or to request a copy, contact LAWA at (424) 646-7690, or

www.OurLAX.org/.

Responses to the NOP should be sent as early as possible and must be received by LAWA no later than 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29. Responses should be sent to Herb Glasgow, chief of Airport Planning I, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, 1 World Way, Room 218, Los Angeles, CA 90045, or by e-mail: LAXSPAS@lawa.org/.

Airport documentation states that in addition to the two variations of the “No Project Alternative” required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the notice of preparation identifies four possible alternatives that represent a reasonable range of combinations for the various yellow light project options.

The four alternatives are currently identified as being “potential,” pending completion of the scoping process.

The two required No Project Alternatives are:

No project/No development (existing conditions); and

No project/No Specific Plan Amendment (implement approved master plan).

The potential alternatives include:

Runway 6R/24L 100 feet south;

Existing runways with operational improvements only;

Runway 6L/24R 100 feet north; and

Runway 6L/24R 340 feet north.

“Focusing on the north air side, and the issues we’re trying to resolve from an airport planning standpoint are how to meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines to meet the fleet mix that is anticipated under the weather conditions that we typically have here in Los Angeles,” Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of LAWA, said during an August meeting of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa’s Airport Relations Committee.

That meeting had addressed the proposed reconfiguration of the northernmost runway hundreds of feet closer to Westchester and Playa del Rey as proposed by LAWA officials.

The FAA has maintained that the north complex requires reconfiguration for safety reasons.

On Feb. 19, the results of the LAX North Airfield Safety Study indicated that the north runways are safe and their current configuration should not be changed, said the academic panel of experts who conducted the study in association with NASA-Ames.

“It’s again clear that the north complex remains safe despite LAWA’s willingness to discount the NASA/academic panel experts’ independent safety review,” said Westchester resident Denny Schneider, president of the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion (ARSAC).

“Incursion statistics from last year noted 12 incursions. All were minor, with nine having occurred on the fixed southern airfield complex, and virtually all were pilot errors that would not be addressed by runway movement.

“We continue to ask why LAWA is delaying completion of the runway status light installation if safety is really important to them. Similarly, why have the important northern taxiway safety improvements that LAWA identified over two years ago not been started?” asked Schneider.

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners had commissioned the runway study in May 2008 at a cost of $1.4 million.

Schneider said now that the airport department has released its expansion plan options in a notice of preparation, it will be up to the community to respond in detail.

“We are saddened that the NOP contains only inadequate options to move the north runway complex south,” said Schneider. “This is a not very transparent attempt to make moving runways north look more justified. The no runway movement option remains the most appropriate.

“Billions must be expended for any runway movement north at a time when LAWA is finding resources too scarce to start all the facility retrofits immediately needed. If LAWA is hell-bent on moving a runway to expand capacity, all we can do is to show them the best way to do it — go south — and save the Westchester-Playa del Rey communities from major impacts.

“We’re disappointed, but the community will have to use its own design resources to draw an effective 100-foot-south option and then provide it to the LAWA ‘experts,’” said Schneider.

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