On July 27, 2012, Los Angeles World Airports (“LAWA”) released the “Specific Plan Amendment Study Draft Environmental Impact Report” (“DEIR”), involving, among other things: (1) a realignment and extension of runways to the east on the North Airfield Complex, including a separation of the two north runways to permit their unimpeded use by the largest operating aircraft, A-380s and 747-800s (“Category VI”); (2) expansion and renovation of the terminals; and (3) associated movement and potential undergrounding of surrounding thoroughfares including Lincoln Boulevard.  Sides are already forming over the proposed plan. 

On one side is a new organization denominated “Coalition to Fix LAX Now.”  The Coalition includes, among others, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO; the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council; the Central City Association of Los Angeles; the Valley Industry and Commerce Association and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.  Their stated purpose is to “put the full effort of the business community behind ensuring that our elected officials make the necessary decisions to give L.A. a 21st century airport.” 

On the other side are the communities that will be most affected by the proposed airfield and terminal changes.  They include the Cities of Culver City, Inglewood, El Segundo and the County of Los Angeles, and the airport neighbors in Westchester, Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion (“ARSAC”).  The City of Ontario, currently in the process of negotiating with LAWA for the transfer of Ontario International Airport to local control by the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino, is also deeply concerned that region-wide environmental issues, in addition to the funds dedicated to this project at LAX should rightfully be dedicated to the improvement of services at Ontario which have been woefully neglected for at least the past five years.

The DEIR will have a 75 day comment period.  It can be viewed at http://laxspas.com/draft_eir.aspx#.  Aviation and Airport Law Development Law Blog will keep you apprised of any developments occurring during the period of review and at its conclusion.