LAX traffic continues to expand. Regional airports are now also expanding as well. Ontario Airport, consistently losing passengers to LAX prior to return of local control in November, increased 0.8% in December and Southwest Airlines started regular service to Dallas in January.
Aircraft noise complaints related to LAX are increasing. Areas as far east as Monterey Park, La Habra Heights, and even Huntington Park are expressing grave concerns—and this is before the NextGen, GPS controlled traffic controls, will concentrate flights over some residents as changes to the So. Cal. Metroplex starts in March. It is difficult to identify ways to work with the FAA to reduce the impacts.
LAX is starting approval of its Landside Access Modernization Program LAMP). The first approval hearing is on March 2at the Board of Airport Commission. The Final Environmental Impact Report was released at the end of last week. Significant changes to the LAX Plan and LAX Specific Plan are being sought. LA Planning held a hearing on changes two weeks ago. True to form, edited documents were released to the public on the day of the hearing with comments due within a week. ARSAC discovered several issues whereby LAWA removed control and mitigation requirements. LAWA says that requirements will be added back into a Mitigation and Monitoring Report Requirement. The documents also give more authority to the BOAC and LAWA by reducing requirements for LA Planning and City Council approvals.
The LAMP project implementation is moving forward. Preparatory projects begin later this year. The first target milestones will be completion of the basic project in 2024 before the desired LA Olympic Games. The design of the project is not optimal in the opinion of ARSAC, but we are hoping that it will be functional. Because of the recent MOU with LA ARSAC is allowed to provide comments about any potential improvements but is not allowed to take any legal action to slow or stop the LAMP.
There are about 500 homeless people living in Manchester Square where the LAMP is to begin. There is significant concern about what will happen to these people and how to provide services to them before groundbreaking later this year.