Monday, October 29, 2012

La Habra Heights, Los Angeles County, California: Resident says new jet flight paths create more noise for community

LA HABRA HEIGHTS - It was just a couple of years ago that it seemed to resident Sam Andreano that the the jets flying over his city were noisier.

Andreano, who has lived in La Habra Heights since 1999, did some research, went to the City Council and persuaded it to get involved by joining the LAX Community Noise Roundtable. He eventually was named as the city's alternate on the board.

Since then, Andreano has been trying to make the case that changes made by the Federal Aviation Administration in how jets fly into LAX are impacting his community, as well as Whittier and unincorporated Hacienda Heights.

"I noticed what's going on with the air traffic," he said. "The planes are flying over and I can read the sign of a Fed Ex jet and I'm 25 miles away."

Andreano blames a change made by the FAA.

Instead of using a "traditional step-down approach," which is compared to walking down stairs, the jets now glide. The latter has been compared to going down a bannister.

The problem is that the jets end up flying at lower altitude, Andreano said.

Jets used to fly over La Habra Heights at about 8,000 feet and now are flying between 6,000 and 7,000 feet, Andreano said.

"There's considerably more noise," he said. "Before they did this, you'd see them but at 8,000 feet high," he said. "Now, it's a constant flow. At 25 miles out, we shouldn't be listening to jet noise."

Ian Gregor, spokesman for the FAA, concedes  the jets are flying lower but said the new system actually reduces the noise.

"Aircraft glide down into an airport on minimal power, meaning they make less noise and emit fewer pollutants than aircraft using the traditional step-down approach," Gregor said.

While the jets are lower, they're in a neutral power setting and are making less noise, he said.

Gregor said the FAA is beginning a study of the Southern California air space to see if more efficiencies can be achieved using these strategies.

"We are very early on in the process and we have not made any decisions to implement new routes or procedures," he said.

Andreano said the plan was good but it wasn't implemented correctly in Southern California.

The jets weren't supposed to have a lower altitude, he said.

"My experience is they're much noisier," Andreano said.

La Habra Heights Councilman Brian Bergman, who is the city's main member on the Noise Roundtable, said he too is concerned about the new approach jets are using.

"The jury is still out on this whole thing," said Bergman, who worked for United Airlines for 39 years, including his last position as aircraft maintenance manager.

"When they came in at a higher altitude there was less impact," Bergman said. "There is a concern that (noise) has gotten worse as a result of this (plan) they implemented."

Bergman said so far there hasn't been a huge outcry among La Habra Heights residents but he praised Andreano for noticing the change.

"It was a subtle impact," Bergman said. "It's something we're going to have to live with for the next 100 years."

Denny Schneider, chairman of the Noise Roundtable, said he's also concerned about the changes in how the jets fly into LAX.

"There do appear to be changes," Schneider said. "The most important thing is, is it impacting the community?"


Source:  http://www.whittierdailynews.com

No comments: