We Did It!
Today, Mike was enormously proud to announce a groundbreaking and carefully negotiated settlement between neighborhood advocates and airport officials that will allow for community improvements and modernization projects to continue – without needing to move the north runways at LAX!
Below, please find a note from Mike to the Westchester and Playa del Rey neighborhoods.
When I ran for office, I promised you that by working together we would stop LAX expansion and halt plans for moving the north runway, while still modernizing our airport. I have some very exciting news for you: WE DID IT!
Today, the mayor and I announced a groundbreaking and carefully negotiated settlement between our neighborhood advocates with the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion (ARSAC) and airport officials. Once ratified by the City Council, this agreement will stop the project that would have moved the north runways 260 feet closer to homes in Westchester and Playa del Rey, and will replace it with immediate and significant airfield safety improvements and an exciting and comprehensive program to finally modernize, but not expand, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). With this agreement, we are fulfilling the promise of “LAX Modernization Yes, Expansion NO!”
A few months before I took office, over the vehement objections of my predecessor, Councilman Bill Rosendahl, the City gave approval to a plan that would have moved the runway north and brought more noise and pollution closer to our neighborhoods.
This agreement — already ratified by the Board of Airport Commissioners — effectively reverses that decision and does what Mayor Eric Garcetti and I have been pushing since we took office – launches an aggressive pursuit of the billions of dollars of projects to modernize the airport that we all support.
This agreement allows:
LAWA to begin critical safety improvements to the LAX north runways that will make flying into LAX safer than ever, without moving the runways closer to homes. These safety improvements are faster, less costly and far more impactful than moving the runway.
LAWA to improve and modernize the terminals at LAX, to make our airport worthy of a great international city like Los Angeles.
LAWA to build a state-of-the-art, ground-breaking, environmentally-friendly transportation system that will reduce congestion and take cars off the road in Westchester and Playa del Rey by building an Automated People Mover, an airport connection to Metro’s rail system, a new Intermodal Transportation Facility, and a Consolidated Rental Car Center.
This agreement will help make our airport one of the most passenger-friendly airports in the world.
The agreement also makes LAX a first-class neighbor. It ushers in a new era of cooperation with the local community, reduces airport impacts on Westchester and Playa del Rey, and includes a number of community benefits. Under the agreement, LAWA commits to:
Helping fund new parks and active recreation on the vacant airport properties to the north of LAX,
Continued use of Neilsen Park by our little leagues and neighborhood kids.
As Denny Schneider, president of ARSAC, said; “For years, we had to fight the airport to ask that they act like a good neighbor, but this is a new day for Westchester and Playa del Rey. This agreement is a great win-win for airport users and neighbors alike. I am thrilled that we are not only keeping the runway where it is, but that our neighborhoods are getting some great benefits out of this agreement.”
This agreement has already been formally ratified by ARSAC, the Board of Airport Commissioners, and the City Council’s Committee on Information, Grants, Trade, Commerce and Technology. The full City Council will hold a public hearing and vote on the agreement next Wednesday at 10am at City Hall (200 N. Spring St.).We need you to attend the hearing and show your support for this neighborhood-friendly approach to LAX modernization.
But today, let’s take a moment to celebrate the tremendous progress we’ve made in finally making “LAX Modernization Yes, Expansion NO” a reality for our neighborhoods.