City Council Votes To Expand LAX Runways - KMSP-TV

City Council Votes To Expand LAX Runways

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Los Angeles, CA -

(FOX 11 / CNS) The Los Angeles City Council signed off today on a
long-debated, $4.8 billion plan to expand and modernize LAX, despite intense opposition from Westchester and Playa del Rey community groups that claim the project would increase traffic congestion and air pollution.

Heated emotions in the crowded council chamber threatened to boil over on several occasions as the council considered the project to move the north airfield 260 feet closer to residents in Councilman Bill Rosendahl's district.

"There will be a lawsuit," Rosendahl said after the 10-3 vote.

Also casting dissenting votes were Councilmen Eric Garcetti and Dennis Zine, who are running for mayor and city attorney, respectively, in the May 21 election.

Airport officials said the project would increase safety, create jobs
and accommodate jumbo jets.

Opponents were skeptical of the airport's claim that the project would make the north runway safer, saying it is a ploy to approve a project that would only serve to draw more traffic to Los Angeles International Airport at the expense of a regional approach to managing the city's various airports.

Los Angeles owns Ontario International Airport, which has seen a sharp decline in flights, and Van Nuys Airport. The city of Ontario has sued Los Angeles, saying the Ontario airport has been mismanaged by the city.

The plan approved today sets the stage for the widening of the north airfield at LAX, as well as the demolition of Terminals 1, 2 and 3; construction of a new ground transportation center at Manchester Square near Century Boulevard and the San Diego (405) Freeway, a new automated people mover that would connect passengers between the ground transportation center and the terminals; and road improvements.

The project, which has been in the works since 2006, still needs the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

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