LA City Council wants FAA to study noise problem at Van Nuys Airport following spike in complaints

The Los Angeles City Council voted this week for the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct a noise study at Van Nuys Airport in response to a spike in noise complaints.

After authorizing a phase-out of the use of Stage 2 jet engines at Van Nuys Airport that resulted in significantly fewer noise complaints from residents and businesses, the FAA in 2017 unilaterally implemented a change to a longstanding "no early turns" instruction for take-offs that resulted in departing jets being unable to make turns until they were south of the Sepulveda Basin, according to the unanimously approved motion.

The change placed turning jets over Encino, Sherman Oaks and other residential neighborhoods, as well as the Santa Monica Mountains, at low altitudes instead of those turns taking place over the unpopulated Sepulveda Basin, resulting in a 622 percent increase in noise complaints in the year after the change was implemented, according to the motion.

The motion instructs Los Angeles World Airports to formally request that the FAA undertake a Part 175 process at Van Nuys Airport, which is a procedure the FAA administrator can invoke for adopting navigation departure procedures or amending existing procedures that would direct aircraft over noise-sensitive areas.

The motion was also amended to ask the FAA to take into account the relationship between any changes in departing flight guidelines, instructions or procedures at Van Nuys Airport on the noise impacts on Los Angeles communities caused by flights departing from Hollywood Burbank Airport.

City News Service contributed to this report.