on curfews, also learned that the FAA is willing to discuss other
ways to reduce airport noise.
"They are saying that we are out of bounds as far as what we're
asking for because it is not a pressing problem with all of our
aircraft that operate after 10 at night," Airport Authority
President Charles Lombardo said. "[The letter] says we are not going
to get what we originally set out to obtain -- a full nighttime
Airport Authority officials sought guidance on a noise-reduction
study, which began in 2000 and could cost the airport up to $4
million before its completion this summer. The study is a federal
Victoria Catlett, of the FAA's office of airport planning and
programming, wrote in the letter that a curfew might affect aircraft
below noise standards. Furthermore, she wrote, the benefits of a
curfew might not outweigh the costs, and the curfew could overburden
the federal aviation system by disrupting air-traffic patterns.
About 97% of the airlines already operate within the restrictions
of the 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. voluntary curfew for large airliners.
Catlett could not be reached for comment.
"This voluntary curfew reduces the magnitude of the nighttime
noise problem and commensurately raises the bar in terms of evidence
that will be required to justify the need for, and benefits, of a
mandatory curfew," she wrote.
Airport Authority spokesman Victor Gill said the FAA's decision
comes as little surprise since officials are pushing to make the
airport the first in the nation to set a curfew for stage-3 aircraft
-- the newest generation of quieter planes. Gill added that federal
laws protect the airplanes, but the airport is trying to find a way
around the federal regulations.
"The author focuses on the fact that the FAA doesn't say nighttime
restrictions cannot be achieved, but the problem is with the
[noise-reduction] study and a blanket curfew," he said. "This
underscores what we've been telling the public -- that it will be an
uphill fight all the way."
Officials will discuss their response to the letter during the
next Airport Authority meeting at 9 a.m. June 7 in the Airport
Skyroom of Bob Hope Airport, 2627 Hollywood Way.