Work could cause flight delays, construction noise

By Gary Walker

LAX runway repair closures will continue for several years photo by Jorge M. Vargas Jr.

LAX runway repair closures will continue for several years
photo by Jorge M. Vargas Jr.

The first in a series of temporary LAX runway closures that could cause flight delays for travelers and construction noise for airport neighbors is set to begin on Friday.

All four LAX runways will completely shut down one-at-a-time over the next several years for completion of $250-million in airfield maintenance and runway safety projects.

The first runway to temporarily close is in the airfield’s south complex, and nearby Westchester and Playa del Rey neighborhoods could be impacted by construction noise during the roughly one-month closure.

“That’s about all of the impacts that we expects for those neighborhoods. We’re trying to be abundantly cautious in being forthright about possible noise impacts, but there may not be any,” Roger Johnson, deputy executive director of airport development for Los Angeles World Airports, said during a tour of the runways next week.

Passengers at the airport may also experience wait times and flight delays beginning in March.

“Our biggest concern will be during inclement weather,” Johnson said of possible delays.

A major aspect of the construction project is increasing the length of the southern runway safety area buffer zone to protect planes that overshoot takeoff or landing.

Senior Airport Engineer Mark Vicelja said construction work on the southern runway will include grading in order to attain federally mandated runaway safety dimensions of about 1,000 by 500 feet.

LAX officials expect to conduct the second temporary runway closure from June to October, the third from November to October 2016 and the fourth from October 2016 to June 2017, with additional airfield maintenance work expected to continue through