Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, announced Wednesday that she sent a letter to the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners to oppose a proposed gate increase at LAX, saying the expansion would correspond to more planes, creating pollution, traffic and noise for her constituents.
The board was scheduled to consider certification of the final Environmental Impact Report for the Airfield and Terminal Modernization Project on Tuesday, according to LAWA’s website. Waters’ office said the vote was delayed until Oct. 7 following receipt of her letter.
Waters said in her letter that she opposes the project’s net gain of 12 gates at the airport and will oppose any increase in gates at LAX.
“An increase in LAX capacity of this magnitude would facilitate a significant increase in the number of planes being accommodated by LAX and a corresponding increase in landings and departures, harmful emissions, traffic congestion, and noise for my constituents and all who live and work in the surrounding communities,” Waters said. “While I support efforts to enhance airfield and terminal safety and improve the passenger experience at LAX, I continue to oppose any attempt to expand the capacity of the airport.”
LAX’s website says the project will reduce airport-related congestion and traffic on public streets, as well as improve customer experience at the airport. It also claims that reconfiguring its taxiways and runway exits will lead to less aircraft idling and a decrease in air pollution.
Los Angeles World Airports, which owns and operates LAX and the Van Nuys Airport, responded to the letter in a statement to City News Service, saying that it is “creating the world-class airport our city deserves, while at the same time being a good neighbor to our local communities by providing jobs and opportunities to businesses and residents, and promoting sustainability elements in our project.
“The proposed Airfield and Terminal Modernization Project focuses on airfield and terminal improvements within the airport’s existing footprint, and landside (roadway) improvements that help reduce local traffic congestion,” LAWA continued. “The project would elevate the passenger experience, enhance airfield safety, reduce traffic congestion in neighborhoods and on local streets adjacent to the airport and increase business opportunities.
“This project would result in approximately 4,700 new long-term employees associated with the operation of Concourse 0 and Terminal 9 and thousands of construction jobs. We look forward to continuing to work with all of our partners as we move forward with our modernization programs.”