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Congresswoman Waters Introduces Legislation to Prohibit Relocation of LAX North Runway

July 15, 2009
Press Release

Last night, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) introduced H.R. 2872, the LAX Community Safety Act.  This legislation would prevent Runway 24R, the northernmost runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), from being relocated farther to the north.  Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), which operates LAX, has proposed relocating Runway 24R at least 340 feet north of its current location, bringing it closer to the residential communities north of LAX.

"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 to the north and east of LAX," said Congresswoman Waters.

"LAX operations already cause tremendous noise and air pollution for the communities of Westchester and Playa del Rey, which lie along the north side of LAX, and the City of Inglewood and the communities of Vermont Knolls and South Los Angeles, which lie to the east of LAX underneath the arrival flight path.  Relocating Runway 24R closer to Westchester will exacerbate these impacts," said the Congresswoman.

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.  LAWA argues that relocating Runway 24R farther to the north would reduce runway incursions and improve safety.  However, historically, approximately 80% of runway incursions at LAX have occurred on the South Runways, while only 20% have occurred on the North Runways.  The rate of incursions on the North Runways is comparable to or lower than other busy commercial U.S. airports. 

"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," said the Congresswoman.

"Relocating Runway 24R farther to the north would not have a significant impact on runway incursions at LAX, but it would have a devastating impact on the families that live near the airport," said Congresswoman Waters.