City Prosecutor Doug Haubert announced yesterday (Wednesday) that JetBlue Airlines has agreed to pay $6,000 for each of the first six times in a quarter that it violates the Long Beach Airport curfew by landing after 11 p.m.
Haubert has control over the fines thanks to a 2003 consent decree approved by the court. That decree set fines for the first six violations in a quarter at $3,000, with more violations at $6,000 per incident.
Long Beach’s curfew for takeoffs and landings is within the city’s noise ordinance that also limits the number of commercial flights. The evening cutoff for takeoffs or landings is 10 p.m., but there is an hour’s grace if an adequate excuse can be made.
The new deal is retroactive to July 1, and likely will cost JetBlue $18,000 more every three months. Fourth District Councilman Daryl Supernaw has been tracking late-night flights through fines paid by JetBlue, and has not found a quarter when there were six or fewer violations; instead, the violations have been trending up.
“The raise was requested by the city prosecutor’s office as a result of what appears to be a trend in recent quarters of increased late night flights by JetBlue,” Haubert said.
The city prosecutor is involved in enforcement because a violation can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor. But each violation would mean a separate court case (with a maximum $1,000 fine), prompting former City Prosecutor Tom Reeves to negotiate the consent decree.
Reeves also designated where the money would go — to the Long Beach Library Foundation. The decree…
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