Empowerment Congress Southwest Requests Health Study on Airplane Nuisance Impacts

April 2018

The Empowerment Congress Southwest is excited to report that their major effort to mitigate airplane noise and nuisance has taken off with the Los Angeles City Council adopting a Resolution co-sponsored by Council Members Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Mike Bonin and Council President Herb Wesson.

The Resolution supports HR 598, the Airplane Impacts Mitigation Act of 2017, which is before Congress. HR 598 requires the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to commission a study of health impacts of airplane flights below 10,000 feet in certain metropolitan areas having an international airport using the NextGen RNAV program. The Resolution also calls for Los Angeles to be added to the list of cities to be studied.

The effort to pass the Resolution began when a concerned resident and former Southwest Board Member, Margaret Peters, realized that the change in flight path with the NextGen navigation system was causing planes to fly more frequently and lower over her house than ever before, disrupting the signal to her garage door opener, wifi and cell phone, not to mention her peace and quiet. She raised the issue to the Empowerment Congress Southwest who took on this issue which impacts the whole community.

Southwest formed an Ad Hoc Committee on Airplane Noise and held a Town Hall at their November 2017 meeting inviting Los Angeles World Airports to present the status of airplane noise and hear public comment. One stakeholder brought greens that she was growing in her yard for her family to consume to show that they were covered with black residue from the airplanes, further calling into question air quality in the Southwest community. Another stakeholder said the airplanes were flying so low, they could read the numbers on the planes.

After the Town Hall, Southwest voted at their March 2018 meeting, collaborated with Council Member Marqueece Harris-Dawson and sent him a letter requesting passage of a Resolution in support of HR 598.

Southwest President Brent Page encourages residents to get involved on issues of importance, “This is an example of leadership on the part of a concerned resident; seeing an issue, finding a solution, and being a catalyst for change.”

Resident Margaret Peters said, “The first step is to recognize there’s a problem. Los Angeles deserves a world class airport for a world class city, but not at the expense of resident health.” She cautions that it seems like the Southwest area is unfairly bearing the brunt of the burden of airplane nuisance. Efforts to measure airplane noise at the 65 decibel threshold need to be carefully re-examined to determine whether it is justified that houses in Inglewood qualify for noise abatement windows whereas houses in Southwest Los Angeles do not.

While Southwest is excited about the passage of the City Council Resolution, this is just the beginning. Southwest now plans to work with the elected representatives at the County, State and Federal level to seek support on behalf of the community’s health. Southwest invites you to join is this effort and #BeAPartOfTheConversation.

HR 598 City of LA Resolution