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Congresswoman Waters Introduces LAX Community Safety Act

July 7, 2016
Press Release
Legislation Prohibits Relocation of LAX North Runways

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, today introduced the LAX Community Safety Act (H.R. 5651).  This legislation would prevent Runway 24R, the northernmost runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), from being relocated farther to the north. 

“Relocating LAX’s northernmost runway farther to the north would increase noise, air pollution, and other environmental impacts on residents, schools, churches, and businesses in the communities surrounding LAX,” said Congresswoman Waters.

LAX has two pairs of parallel runways:  the North Runways, located north of the main terminals, and the South Runways, located south of the main terminals.  Runway 24R is the northernmost of the two North Runways.  Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), which operates LAX, has proposed relocating Runway 24R at least 260 feet north of its current location, bringing it closer to the residential communities north of LAX.

“LAX operations already cause tremendous noise, air pollution and traffic congestion for the communities near LAX,” said Congresswoman Waters.  “Relocating Runway 24R closer to Westchester will exacerbate these impacts.”

The communities most impacted by the operations of the LAX North Runways include the communities of Westchester and Playa del Rey, which lie along the north side of LAX, and the City of Inglewood and the community of South Los Angeles, which lie to the east of LAX underneath the arrival flight path.  Members of these communities have expressed strong opposition to runway relocation.

“Safety is a critical concern for LAX,” said the Congresswoman.  “That includes both the safety of the airport and all who use the airport and the safety of the surrounding communities.  Relocating Runway 24R farther to the north would bring the risk of an aircraft accident closer to homes, schools, churches, and businesses in Westchester and Playa del Rey and, consequently, reduce safety for people who live and work in these communities.”

LAWA has argued that relocating the northernmost runway at LAX would improve safety. However, a panel of academic experts studied the configuration of LAX and concluded that the airport is safe under its current configuration.