|Back To Agenda||Print Page|
TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
FROM: CITY MANAGER
DATE: NOVEMBER 5, 2003
SUBJECT: LAX MASTER PLAN DRAFT SUPPLEMENTAL (EIR) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT AND COMMENTS
The stated objectives for the LAX Master Plan project are (page ES-1 of the Draft EIR):
On July 15, 1997, the City Council adopted Resolution 97-73 acknowledging the potential for adverse environmental impacts to the City as a result of the proposed LAX expansion plan and pledging to monitor and participate in the environmental review process.
On March 16, 1999 the City Council adopted the position that supports the consideration of a regional airport strategy to reallocate commercial airport resources in Southern California.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) released the Draft EIR/EIS for the LAX Proposed Master Plan Improvements on January 18, 2001. The 2001 Draft EIR/EIS analyzed the following three "build" alternatives and one "No Action/No Project" Alternative.
Alternative "A" would add a new runway to the north airfield. The two existing northern runways would be lengthened and all runways would be further separated from one another. The improvements included in Alternative "A" would enable LAX to accommodate approximately 98 MAP (million annual passengers), 4.2 MAT (million annual tons) of cargo and approximately 2,700 daily flights by 2015.
Alternative "B" would add a new runway to the south airfield and lengthen two existing southern runways and separate all the runways further from each other. Improvements would allow LAX to accommodate approximately 98 MAP, 4.2 MAT of cargo and approximately 2,700 daily flights by 2015.
Alternative "C" would not add any runways to the airfield. Alternative "C" was then the preferred alternative of LAWA. Alternative "C" would move two existing runways, widen one runway, lengthen three runways and separate all runways from one another. Improvements would allow LAX to accommodate approximately 89 MAP, 4.2 MAT of cargo and 2,300 flights by 2015.
For Alternatives "A", "B", and "C" there are several common improvements:
A new passenger terminal complex would be constructed at the west end of the airport and an LAX Expressway would be build alongside I-405 and would provide direct freeway access to the airport. The light rail Green Line would be extended into LAX, the taxiway system would be improved and new internal roadways and cargo facilities would be constructed.
"No Action/No Project" Alternative describes existing conditions at and near LAX as modified by what would be expected to occur in the future (assuming natural growth), based upon current projects that are already planned and approved at the airport. Capacity and operating constraints would allow for future passenger growth to approximately 79 MAP, 3.1 MAT of cargo and approximately 2,279 daily flights by 2015.
On July 17, 2001, the City Council sent a comment letter on the Draft Environmental Impact report for the LAX Master Plan to the Los Angeles World Airports and Federal Aviation Administration. The letter requested consideration to incorporate a regional approach to airport expansion and to examine overflight noise, air quality and airspace utilization impacts upon the City.
In response to the terrorist incidents of September 11, 2001, Mayor of Los Angeles initiated efforts to produce a new alternative to the LAX Master Plan, also known as "Alternative D", to address public safety and airport security issues. The Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a Supplemental Draft Environmental impact report (EIR) on Alternative "D". The public comment period on the Supplemental Draft EIR has been extended to November 7th. Staff requests the City Council to consider the information available on the Supplemental Draft EIR for Alternative "D" and to authorize the Mayor to send a letter of comments to LAWA.
According to LAWA, Alternative "D" will be designed to accommodate a passenger activity level of 78.9 million annual passengers and 3.1 million annual tons of cargo by 2015. Alternative "D" will provide a new Ground Transportation Center north of Century Boulevard. An Intermodal Transportation Center with connection to the MTA Green Line will be located north of Imperial Avenue and east of Aviation Boulevard. These new improvements will be connected to the Central Terminal Area via an Automated People Mover system.
Some major components of Alternative "D":
To assist the City Council’s understanding of the LAX Master Plan Supplemental Draft EIR, below and attached to this report are initial comments received by the South Bay Cities Council of Governments from consultants retained by the County of Los Angeles and the cities of El Segundo and Inglewood.
Comments from consultant for the County of Los Angeles:
None associated with this report.
Gina A. Park
Assistant to the City Manager
November XX, 2003
Mr. Jim Ritchie
City of Los Angeles
Los Angeles World Airports
LAX Master Plan Office
PO Box 92216
Los Angeles CA 90009-2216
Mr. David Kessler, AICP
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Aviation Administration
PO Box 92007
Los Angeles CA 90009-2007
RE: Draft Supplemental EIS/EIR for the LAX Master Plan
Dear Mr. Ritchie and Mr. Kessler:
The future of LAX and its impact upon traffic congestion, noise and air pollution, and human safety in the air and on the ground are of great interest to the City Council and residents of Rancho Palos Verdes. The City Council submitted a comment letter dated September 20, 2001 regarding the LAX Master Plan Draft EIS/EIR.
On November 5, 2003 the City Council of Rancho Palos Verdes reviewed key components of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report for the LAX Master Plan, Alternative "D". On behalf of the City Council and residents of Rancho Palos Verdes, I respectfully submit the following new concerns for consideration in the final EIS/EIR:
The draft EIS/EIR document predominately utilizes 1996 data as the benchmark for mitigation considerations and comparisons between Alternatives. However, in some instances the baseline year has been updated to year 2000. We feel the EIS/EIR should establish a consistent baseline year throughout the document and that year should be the most current available.
While the City applauds Mayor James Hahn’s initiative to develop Alternative "D", in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks, the City believes the proposed plans under Alternative "D" are significantly different from the other LAX Master Plan Alternatives "A", "B", and "C" and therefore incomparable in purpose and vision. The City concurs with the South Bay Cities Council of Governments that a new revised draft EIS/EIR should have been prepared to review Alternative "D" and it’s comprehensive impacts instead of addressing Alternative "D" in a Supplement to the 2001 Draft EIS/EIR.
The goal of limiting passenger capacity through design control measures seems implausible given that the runway designs of Alternative "D" are similar to Alternative "C". While both Alternatives lengthen both north runways and the separation distance in between, Alternative "D" actually extends one runway (RW 6L/24R) nearly 1,000 feet more than Alternative "C". We believe the capacity of the Alternative "D" runways is underestimated at 78.9 million annual passengers and more comparable to Alternative "C" projection of 89.6 million passengers. In addition, the proposed runway improvements of Alternative "D", unlike Alternative "C", accommodates the new Super Jumbo A380 aircraft with about 600 seats, which will increase the number of passengers per aircraft operation. Considering the capacity growth potential of these runway improvements, the City is unclear how forecasts in 2015 (121.06 passengers per air carrier operation) can be lower than the actual number of passengers per air carrier operation in year 2002 (123.18 passengers).
The enhanced security measures and improvements advocated by Alternative "D" seem counterintuitive. The emphasis of centralizing major components, such as passenger check-in and parking structures, may potentially create unfavorable conditions for a single point of possible disruption, i.e. the proposed People Mover circulation system. The RAND Corporation conducted an independent study of the proposed security measures and determined that security would not increase from current LAX safety levels. The City requests LAWA and the FAA to take into consideration the RAND Corporation Study findings.
Lastly, the City Council of Rancho Palos Verdes believes a regional solution for addressing increased passenger and air cargo demand is essential for Southern California and again requests LAWA and the FAA to consider a regional airport system as a viable alternative in the discussion of the LAX Master Plan.
We look forward to your response to our comments.
Douglas W. Stern