Long Beach Airport’s coveted noise ordinance could see some major changes as officials seek to slow a spike in late-night curfew violations.
The airport’s decades-old ordinance — grandfathered in under a 1990 federal aviation law — sets a sound threshold, imposes a curfew between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. for takeoffs and landings, and limits the number of commercial flights to about 50 per day.
For years, officials say the regulations were largely successful in minimizing the number of curfew violations, but recently those numbers have been climbing. In the first half of 2017, for instance, there were an average of 22 violations per month, or 133 total. That beats annual tallies from 2013, 2014, and 2015, and is one violation short of the annual total for 2016.
In a statement released this week, Mayor Robert Garcia said the city is committed to reducing the number of nightly curfew violations.
“It’s important that we protect the quality of life of the thousands of residents who are being affected by the constant violations,” he said.
Though there are often legitimate reasons why airplanes veer off schedule, including their vulnerability to the whims of Mother Nature, Long Beach officials are concerned the increasing violations show a disregard for the noise impact on communities under the flight paths. And because the current fine structure is so minimal — $100 for the first incident and $300 for every one thereafter — local leaders worry the financial incentive is not there.
After preliminary talks with the Federal Aviation Administration, the city attorney’s office and outside legal counsel, airport…
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