On March 12, 2008, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) published the Notice of Preparation (NOP) of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Specific Plan Amendment Study (SPAS) for public comment.
In early 2005, Chevalier Allen & Lichman, LLP (CA&L) participated in a legal challenge to LAWA’s approval of the LAX Master Plan, which proposed major changes to runways, taxiways and terminals at LAX. The challenge resulted in a Stipulated Settlement Agreement, under which LAWA agreed to, among other things, proceed with a SPAS to identify potential alternative designs, technologies and configurations at LAX. The Settlement Agreement also established the LAX SPAS Advisory Committee, on which CA&L’s clients, the Cities of Inglewood and Culver City, sit as members.
The NOP identifies five options for reconfiguring the North Airfield Complex at LAX. One of those options, moving Runway 6R/24L 340 feet to the north, has the potential in our view to adversely impact communities surrounding LAX. It is our further view that the runway movement 340 feet north has the clear potential to increase capacity (and, therefore, noise, air quality and surface traffic impacts) by allowing triple simultaneous arrivals on the north and south runways. The NOP does not comprehensively evaluate the potential for these impacts, nor does it evaluate the runway project in relation to the other Master Plan projects currently ongoing at LAX, such as construction of a mid-field terminal, with numerous additional aircraft gates. CA&L believes that this project could have impacts which are, at minimum, different from and potentially more intense than those projected to arise out of the previous project.
For these and other reasons, CA&L will submit comments on the proposed scope and content of the DEIR on behalf of its clients. We recommend that other interested parties submit their comments no later than June 18, 2008.
The LAX Master Plan, LAX Specific Plan and the Stipulated Settlement are available at http://www.laxmasterplan.org.