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Key Local Leaders Playing One Side in Burbank Airport Noise Controversy

PERSPECTIVE--Another voice was added to the ongoing controversy concerning jet noise from Burbank Airport departures – Dan Feger former Burbank Airport Executive Director, who retired from the post in 2016. 

He proposed modifications to the departure flight paths which would have aircraft turn to the west soon after taking off, ascend at a faster rate and track along or north of the Ventura Freeway.

Obviously, groups such as Studio City for Quiet Skies and UproarLA were elated by his suggestion.

The privileged airspace over their Southeast Valley neighborhoods would be spared the noise.  

Studio City for Quiet Skies and UproarLA are throwing their own residents under the bus (plane).

If Feger’s idea were implemented, a large swath of Studio City and Sherman Oaks, especially neighborhoods north of Moorpark Avenue, would fall within the new vector. If they think it is noisy now, just wait. If the SCQS and UproarLA are examples of community advocacy, then it is time to draw some new community boundaries for at least half the residents they purport to represent.

North Hollywood and Valley Glen would be adversely impacted. Valley Village, which already absorbs its fair share of the noise, would be particularly affected.  It would seem Feger wants to move the problem over to less affluent and lower income neighborhoods, an outcome mentioned in Ariella Plachta’s Daily News article from September 3rd. Maybe that’s why he retired to Oxnard.

Brad Sherman and Paul Krekorian failing their constituents.

Congressman Sherman and Council Member Krekorian are ignoring their constituents who would be on the receiving end of more noise if Studio City for Quiet Skies’ and UproarLA’s position prevails.

Their non-existent outreach to their districts’ northeast precincts on the ramifications of alternative flight paths doesn’t fly.  All these residents need to know how any change will affect them; most are in the dark. If they realize what’s at stake, they will become engaged in the process.

Congressman Cardenas has expressed our concerns to the FAA. Kudos to him.

Both the Valley Village Homeowners Association and Neighborhood Council Valley Village have shared our concerns with all three gentlemen.  We have also been in contact with their staffs, who have at least listened. Other than the positive support from Mr. Cardenas, Sherman and Krekorian merely sent us copies of their letters to the FAA, which focused almost completely on the opposition to southerly departures as expressed by the Studio City/Sherman Oaks organizations. Not a word about what the alternatives could mean to other communities.

Can we trust the two to represent the entire East Valley in the recently formed noise task force?

Valley Village’s position.

VVHA and NCVV believe no one community should bear a disproportionate share of the noise. but want the FAA to put safety first, fully recognizing that the solution will be far from perfect. However, it is unreasonable for some neighborhoods to insist on special treatment.

We support an environmental impact report.

The FAA needs to push the airlines to introduce quieter engines.  It is a shame the 737 MAX has a deadly software fault, because the fleet’s engines, which project a much smaller sound footprint, would help everyone. The technology is there to mitigate noise and should be introduced in other 737s in the future.

Airlines should be fined for curfew violations unless caused by circumstances beyond their control.

Burbank Airport is used by many in the Valley – north, south, east and west. Who wants to endure the commute to LAX and the congestion there? Burbank is the hands down choice for regional destinations.

 It was ranked as the best airport in the nation; it is an asset to our greater community.

 (Paul Hatfield is a CPA and former President of the Valley Village Homeowners Association. He blogs at Village to Village and contributes to CityWatch. The views presented are those of Mr. Hatfield and his alone and do not represent the opinions of Valley Village Homeowners Association or CityWatch. He can be reached at: phinnoho@aol.com.)