LOS ANGELES (CN) – The city of Los Angeles claims in a suit filed in the Ninth Circuit Friday that the Federal Aviation Administration failed to perform a proper environmental review of noise levels caused by planes flying over communities under the flight path towards Los Angeles International Airport.
The federal agency’s alleged failure to properly study environmental impacts and to consider public comment resulted in an uptick in noise and environmental complaints from residents in the West Adams neighborhood of LA, where incoming flight paths were consolidated, according to the petition.
City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement Tuesday that the agency’s failure to consider public comment on the issue represents a “persistent failure to address noise” in LA neighborhoods.
According to the petition, the FAA required residents to acknowledge that their comments would not be taken into account when they submitted them.
"Those decisions must not stand,” Feuer said. “We're fighting to give LA residents the chance to engage on a major issue affecting their quality of life, and, ideally, to create opportunities to find real solutions to noise and other concerns.”
An FAA spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Feuer said that the city has been negotiating with the FAA since 2016 over several issues, including reducing nighttime noise levels by requiring pilots and air traffic controllers to maintain flight paths at a higher altitude during arrival to LAX.
“To date these negotiations have been unsuccessful, and with the time to bring legal action against the FAA fast approaching, the City filed its lawsuit,” the statement said.
The city’s petition asks the court to order the agency to perform a complete environmental impact review of procedures for flights arriving at LAX.
The petition also seeks a court order requiring the FAA to fully consider public comment and examine alternatives to the current flight paths.
Last week, officials at Hollywood Burbank Airport called on the FAA to alter flight patterns in order to reduce noise levels over San Fernando Valley communities.
Feuer said that he has asked members of Congress and the FAA's regional administrator to “disperse flights so that no community bears an undue burden.”
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