LOS ANGELES (CBS) —An environmental impact report released Friday on upcoming plans for Los Angeles International Airport included destroying and replacing terminals and moving runways, but not everyone was on board with the plans.
Los Angeles World Airports’ report described plans to increase safety, performance and capacity at the airport, which is expected to accommodate more than 78 million people each year by 2025.
Gina Marie Lindsey, LAWA’s executive director, said they have two choices.
“Either prepare now by creating a long-term plan to continue the modernization, or limp along with an airfield designed for 1960s-era aircraft and leave the planning and improvements for others to deal with in the future, after natural demand arrives and airport facilities at LAX will be both insufficient and, in some cases, near the end of their useful life,” she said.
The proposals included plans for a new combined ground transportation center, a people mover between the center and terminals and the replacement of Terminals 1, 2 and 3.
Reconfiguration of runways and taxiways, as well as road improvements around the airport, was also part of the report.
The main goals of the environmental impact report featured serving newer and bigger planes at LAX by separating two runways and reconstructing the taxiways on the north side of the airport.
The idea was to move the runways north or south by 100, 260, 340 or 350 feet to increase separation between the runways and add a center taxiway.
Another alternative would keep the runways in place, but merely make changes to taxiways on the north airfield.
A LAWA spokeswoman said staff wouldn’t recommend one of the alternatives until a 75-day public comment period is over and a final report is ready.
Denny Schneider, president of the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion, said he doesn’t agree with LAWA’s plans.
He said the airport should improve the roads and bridges around the airport and improve the terminals themselves.
“If you bought a fixer-upper home and knew it had structural problems, you wouldn’t first build an addition to the house. You’d fix the structural problems,” Schneider said. “We want an airport that people can be proud of, get into and out of easily and a safe and secure airport. None of the alternatives are going to do that.”
Schneider said ARSAC opposes any plan to move the northernmost runway further north, saying the residents and businesses in Westchester and Playa del Rey would suffer.
“There are better alternatives available to increase safety, security and passenger convenience that would not require destroying homes and businesses in Westchester/Playa del Rey,” Schneider said.
“Furthermore, any movement of the runway to the north will permanently alter flight patterns over Southern California, newly exposing millions of residents to aircraft noise, pollution and safety issues who have not been impacted by LAX operations in the past,” he said. “If necessary, we will go back to court to protect our communities and to force LAX to reconsider other runway configurations which do not move aircraft closer to Westchester/Playa del Rey.”
In August, LAWA will hold three community meetings to discuss the plans.
Visit www.laxspas.org for more information.
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