Appeals Court Ruling May Ease Booming Jet Noises Over Culver City

Culver City residents may soon notice a decrease in early-morning jet noises.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently issued an order that the FAA must fully comply with all applicable federal environmental laws in regard to three flight paths for arriving aircraft at Los Angeles International Airport.

Last year, Culver City joined the City of Los Angeles in its lawsuit against the FAA, claiming the newly-implemented flight paths were put in place without separate environmental review of noise levels caused by planes flying over communities under the flight path towards LAX and without public comment. The lawsuit also sought a court order requiring the FAA to fully consider public comment and examine alternatives to the current flight paths.

The lawsuit by triggered by rising complaints about incessant, booming jet noises, specifically in the early morning hours by Los Angeles and Culver City residents for the last four years.

Culver City is in the flight path for landings at LAX, when planes are coming from the north and the west, crossing over certain parts of Santa Monica and the Westside, flying through Culver City, as they head further east before turning around to make their final descent into the airport.

According to the FAA, its new flight pathways are part of the Southern California Metroplex project, which created satellite-based routes at airports throughout the region. The routes, according to the agency, are supposed to be more precise than previous pathways, which use ground-based navigation.

The FAA has maintained that they have not changed their flight paths in a way that would increase jet noises in neighboring communities.

In its August ruling, the Appeals Court ordered the FAA to be more transparent about their flight paths and to answer the questions presented by the cities and to pay more attention to the standards required by both litigants. The Court also ruled the FAA will now have to look at data specifically to see if there is any truth to the complaints.

"Even though the FAA's changes may potentially cause more aircraft to fly over Culver City and surrounding communities, with resulting noise and air quality impacts in addition to the impacts of the already-implemented Southern California Metroplex project, the FAA chose to perform no environmental review for the new arrival routes. In addition, the FAA refused to allow access to its website for citizens who may wish to comment on the effects of the proposed changes," said Culver City in its legal filing.


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