Los Angeles Business Journal

Council Approves Plan to Move LAX Runway

By Howard Fine Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday voted to approve a controversial plan to move the north runway at LAX.

The 10-3 vote approved the environmental report for the plan to move the northernmost runway at Los Angeles International Airport 260 feet to the north. The move, part of an airport modernization project, was designed to accommodate larger aircraft and allow the addition of a taxiway between the north and south runways.

Proponents of the airport plan, including most of L.A.’s major business groups, say moving the runway would increase safety and accommodate bigger planes, such as the Airbus A380. The Federal Aviation Administration said the runway should be moved for safety reasons but did not cite a specific distance.

Opponents, including nearby residents and neighborhood groups, say moving the north runway will result in increased noise over Westchester homes and businesses. They also say it would force the reconfiguration of Lincoln Boulevard, disrupting traffic patterns.

Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes the airport, and Councilman Eric Garcetti, a candidate for mayor, were among the three dissenting council votes.

The modernization plan also includes two new passenger terminals and a consolidated car rental facility.

Opponents are expected to file lawsuits seeking to block the runway move.