Update - Proposed Class C Airspace Designation Surrounding Long Beach Airport – Potential Impact On Rancho Palos Verdes Africanized Honey Bee Alert, For the last decade, we have heard the warnings that Africanized honey bees (AHBs), or so-called "killer bees," were headed north to the United States from South America. While Africanized honey bees arrived in Texas in 1991, it was not until late 1998 that they arrived in the South Bay. On December 8, 1998, a swarm of Africanized honey bees were found at a maintenance yard in the City of Lawndale. These bees pose a threat to humans and pets because they are much more aggressive and prone to attack in defense of their hives than the common European honey bee (EHBs), which are usually very docile. While the swarm found in Lawndale may have been an isolated colonization, it is important to be aware of the potential problems these bees can cause and to know what to do if they are encountered on the Peninsula Update - Proposed Class C Airspace Designation Surrounding Long Beach Airport – Potential Impact On Rancho Palos Verdes
Update - Proposed Class C Airspace Designation Surrounding Long Beach Airport – Potential Impact On Rancho Palos Verdes

UPDATE - PROPOSED CLASS C AIRSPACE DESIGNATION
SURROUNDING LONG BEACH AIRPORT
POTENTIAL IMPACT ON RANCHO PALOS VERDES


Welcome to Long Beach Airport
 
  • Click here for the City Council staff report dated December 20, 2011.
  • Click here for the Williams Aviation Consultants Technical Analysis Report, September 2011
  • Click here for the City Council Staff Report dated October 4, 2011
  • Click here for the Williams Aviation Consultants Technical Analysis Report, September 2010
  • Click here for the City's Technical Comments Letter, September 2010
  • Click here for Questions and Answers - 2010 FAA Proposal
  • Click here for Comments by Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association - 2010
  • Click here for Public Meeting Powerpoint presentation - 2010
  • Click here for City Council staff report dated September 7, 2010
  • Click here to go to Airspace Overview
  • Click here to contact Rancho Palos Verdes Staff

Posted April 26, 2012

Status Update: 2011 (Revised) Proposal For Class C Airspace Designation Surrounding Long Beach Airport

Overview


In 2010, the FAA proposed a revision to LGB airspace (the "2010 LGB Proposal"). The City hired Williams Aviation Consultants (WAC) to study the issue. WAC concluded that the 2010 LGB Proposal, if passed, would have had serious unintended noise and safety concerns for Rancho Palos Verdes and South Bay residents. The City submitted a Technical Comments letters to the FAA on September 30, 2010 outlining the City's objections and concerns. Other cities and members of the community also provided comment letters as well.

In 2011 staff became aware of a revised 2011 LGB airspace proposal (the "2011 LGB Proposal"). WAC analyzed the new proposal and concluded that there were significant improvements and modifications to the "2010 LGB Proposal" that addressed the City's concerns and Technical Comments expressed in 2010. WAC opined that the City's pro-active effort in 2010 as well as the unified comments provided by a number of South Bay cities, concerned residents and businesses led to the FAA's decision to significantly modify the "2010 LGB Proposal". The City Council authorized staff to sent a comment letter and WAC's Technical Analysis of the "2011 LGB Proposal" to the FAA on October 4, 2011.

Update, April 25, 2012

Staff attended two FAA public meetings on the "2011 LGB Proposal" on October 25 and 26, 2011. The majority of speakers at the meetings were Long Beach residents and general aviation pilots who were opposed to any change of LGB's airspace. FAA representatives recently informed staff that the FAA would do an internal analysis of the "2011 LGB Proposal", taking into account all public comments. At the end of that analysis, the FAA would then proceed with one of three options: 1) move forward with a notice of public rule making (NPRM); 2) withdraw the proposal; or 3) perform more analysis and seek out additional public input. WAC's studied opinion is that the "2011 LGB Proposal" will move forward with only minor revisions. Staff presented an update to City Council on December 20, 2011click here for staff report. There is no further action at this time. The FAA's analysis is expected to last a minimum of six months. Staff will continue to monitor this issue closely and will update the Council and the City's residents on any significant developments.

Posted September 30, 2011

UPDATE - 2011 (REVISED) PROPOSAL FOR CLASS C AIRSPACE DESIGNATION SURROUNDING LONG BEACH AIRPORT

Staff recently received word of upcoming FAA public meetings in October regarding the revised proposal to create a Class C airspace surrounding LGB (the "2011 LGB Class C Proposal"). WAC reviewed the 2011 LGB Class C Proposal and advised Staff that they believe that the City's pro-active effort in 2010, including the submission of the City's Technical Comments letter, as well as the unified comments provided by a number of South Bay cities, concerned residents and businesses led to the FAA's decision to significantly modify the 2010 proposal. Staff and WAC reviewed the 2011 LGB Class C Proposal shown below in Figure 3.


2011 Revised LGB Class C airspace

WAC performed a Technical Analysis (Click here to view the entire report) that summarized its findings as follows:

"The 2011 LGB Class C proposal appears to make numerous changes in response to the public comments received on the 2010 proposal. Many of the impact issues identified by WAC in the analysis of the 2010 proposal are resolved or significantly reduced by the 2011 design."

WAC's Technical Analysis of the 2011 LGB Class C proposal concludes: "The 2011 revised proposal has incorporated changes which mitigate virtually all of the concerns identified by the City, as well as other South Bay cities.
  • No potential safety or noise issues were identified that would impact South Bay cities [including the City]. The FAA has made changes in the 2011 proposal which address, to a significant degree, each of the technical issues identified [in the Technical Comment letter sent to the FAA by the City] during the 2010 comment process.
  • The FAA should, however, identify and thoroughly analyze any potential impact issues identified during the upcoming public comment period."

Staff will present a staff report to the City Council on October 4, 2011 (Click here to view the staff report) that will be accompanied with the Technical Analysis prepared by Williams Aviation Consultants (Click here to view the entire report), as well as a draft comment letter to the FAA. Comments made be sent directly to the FAA as on or before December 12, 2011 as follows:

John Warner, Operations Support Group, AJV-W2
Western Service Area, Air Traffic Organization
Federal Aviation Administration
1601 Lind Avenue, SW
Renton, WA 98057
Subject: Proposed Long Beach Airport (LGB) Class C Airspace FR Doc 2011-21424 Filed 8-22-11; 8:45am

Or you may submit your comments to airspace@rpv.com. and the City will timely forward them on to the FAA. City of Rancho Palos Verdes Staff expects to provide additional information about this important issue using its Aircraft Noise listserver group (http://pvalert.com/listserver/) and its website: (http://www.palosverdes.com/rpv) as more information becomes available.

Posted August 8, 2011

UPDATE - PROPOSED CLASS C AIRSPACE DESIGNATION SURROUNDING LONG BEACH AIRPORT POTENTIAL IMPACT ON RANCHO PALOS VERDES

Background:

In 2010 the City of Rancho Palos Verdes became aware that the FAA was considering establishing a significantly more restrictive airspace surrounding Long Beach Airport ("LGB") based upon reported concerns about safety. The FAA's proposed LGB Class C airspace would be about 3 times larger than the existing Class D airspace.

While passenger safety is of the upmost importance, the City Council, Staff, and the City's aviation consultants are extremely concerned about the "unintended consequences" that could be experienced by the City and neighboring South Bay coastal communities, including:

  1. Increased safety risks resulting from a greater number of general aviation ("GA") aircraft flights compressed in flight areas;
  2. Environmental impacts, especially increased aircraft noise and air pollution from piston-powered and turboprop aircraft;
  3. Increase of GA aircraft flights across the entire PV Peninsula, as well as neighborhoods in Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Torrance and San Pedro; and
  4. Increased workload of FAA traffic controllers, possibly impairing passenger flight safety.

The Rancho Palos Verdes City Attorney submitted a technical comments letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) addressing the FAA's proposal to change the airspace around Long Beach Airport (LGB) on September 30, 2010. The letter requested that the FAA conduct a complete analysis of the potential impacts of the proposal before any change is made to the airspace designation around LGB.

Citing the limited information currently available, concerns regarding the potential unintended consequences regarding air safety, and the FAA's failure to undertake the necessary environmental review process, the City requested that the FAA complete the following in its letter:

  • Withdraw or suspend the current technically flawed proposal to change the LGB airspace from Class D to Class C;
  • Undertake the necessary study and analysis of the safety and environmental ramifications of any airspace change and provide opportunities for meaningful public input on the results of such studies and analysis before any further consideration of an airspace change at LGB;
  • In the event that the FAA opts to proceed with the current proposal, comply with the requirements of FAA Order 7400.2G, the National Environmental Protection Act, and disclose all relevant information to allow for meaningful public input before any change is made; and
  • Provide specific notice to the City, in addition to any other required noticing, for any further actions related to this or future proposals to change airspace designations at LGB.

In addition to the Technical Comments Letter, the City also submitted a letter from the Mayor on behalf of the City Council expressing concerns about safety and adverse environmental impacts should the proposal be implemented and all of the public comments received from officials, business leaders and residents of Rancho Palos Verdes and other South Bay cities. Comment letters were submitted by 6 other South Bay cities to the FAA expressing concern. These cities were Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Palos Verdes Estates, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Torrance.

Update:

The City's aviation consultant, Tom Kamman of Williams Aviation Consulting, advised the City to continue monitoring the FAA's actions regarding the proposed airspace change, but refrain from engaging in a dialogue at this time. Mr. Kamman believes that the substantial opposition expressed by the seven South bay cities, especially RPV, may have caused the FAA to decide not to move forward at this time.

The FAA is reportedly beginning to launch a project to redesign the entire airspace in Southern California. Conceptually, the redesign of Sothern California airspace is long overdue. However, it may cause unfavorable noise impacts through-out the entire region, including the City. Several recent personnel changes within the FAA, as well as the reduction of the FAA talent pool in Southern California, should cause the City to carefully watch the FAA's next steps.

Staff has heard some chatter from sources in the aviation community in recent months about the possibility that the proposed designation change may be gathering momentum. Nothing has been confirmed at this time. Staff, with the assistance of its aviation consultant, will continue to monitor this situation closely.

More Information

City of Rancho Palos Verdes Staff expects to provide additional information about this important issue using its Aircraft Noise listserver group (http://pvalert.com/listserver/) and its website (http://www.palosverdes.com/rpv) as more information becomes available. The public is encouraged to join the listserver group or check the City's website for the most current information regarding this issue. The public is encouraged to let the City know their thoughts and concerns regarding this and other Peninsula airspace issues at airspace@rpv.com.
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Long Beach Airport Noise Complaints:

  • Click here to access Long Beach Airport Webtrak or call the Long Beach noise complaint hotline at 562-570-2665.

Contacting Rancho Palos Verdes Staff

While the City of Rancho Palos Verdes has no direct authority over airspace, City staff takes airspace safety and noise impacts on our residents very seriously.

The public is encouraged to let the City know their thoughts and concerns regarding Peninsula airspace issues. Email staff at airspace@rpv.com or contact Rancho Palos Verdes Senior Administrative Analyst Matt Waters at 310-544-5218.

Click here to go the City's List Serve to sign up to receive updates on aircraft noise abatement and other airspace issues affecting the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Click here to return to Overview of Airspace Issues

Posted October 4, 2010

On Thursday, September 30, 2010, the Rancho Palos Verdes City Attorney submitted a technical comments letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) addressing the FAA's current proposal to change the airspace around Long Beach Airport (LGB). Drawing mainly from the Technical Analysis Report completed by Williams Aviation Consultants (WAC), the letter requested that the FAA conduct a complete analysis of the potential impacts of the proposal before any change is made to the airspace designation around LGB.

Citing the limited information currently available, concerns regarding the potential unintended consequences regarding air safety, and the FAA's failure to undertake the necessary environmental review process, the City requested that the FAA complete the following in its letter:

  • Withdraw or suspend the current technically flawed proposal to change the LGB airspace from Class D to Class C;
  • Undertake the necessary study and analysis of the safety and environmental ramifications of any change airspace change and provide opportunities for meaningful public input on the results of such studies and analysis before any further consideration of an airspace change at LGB;
  • In the event that the FAA opts to proceed with the current proposal, comply with the requirements of FAA Order 7400.2G, the National Environmental Protection Act, and disclose all relevant information to allow for meaningful public input before any change is made; and
  • Provide specific notice to the City, in addition to any other required noticing, for any further actions related to this or future proposals to change airspace designations at LGB.

In addition to the Technical Comments Letter, the City also submitted the following to the FAA last week:

  • A letter from the Mayor on behalf of the City Council expressing concerns about safety and adverse environmental impacts should the proposal be implemented; and,
  • All public comments received from officials, business leaders and residents of Rancho Palos Verdes and other South Bay cities.

Comment letters were submitted by 6 other South Bay cities to the FAA expressing concern. These cities were Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Palos Verdes Estates, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Torrance.

To view the City's Technical Comments Letter and WAC's Technical Analysis Report, please click the appropriate links at the top of this page.

Posted September 3, 2010

City Staff is working with its aviation consultant and the community to collect additional technical information to be timely presented to the FAA.  At its meeting on August 17, 2010, the City Council unanimously approved a budget adjustment to pay for the cost of services rendered by the City's consultant.  The appropriation of additional funds further demonstrates the City's commitment to providing timely comments to the FAA with the goal of developing a solution that will be in the best interest of the City's residents, including the tourism community.

In its September 7th staff report entitled "Potential Impact Resulting from Proposed Class C Airspace Designation Surrounding the Long Beach Airport" (click here), City Staff provides an overview of the potential impact of the proposed change on Rancho Palos Verdes and its neighboring South Bay cities. This staff report includes a summary of information reported by the City's consultant, Williams Aviation Consultants, in the Potential Impact Statement (click here) it published on September 2, 2010.

City Staff has also developed a "Questions and Answers" document to help the public better understand the impact of this proposed change (click here). Furthermore, Staff has developed a template public comment letter for individuals to use if they are interested in expressing their concern about the change to the FAA (click here for the template letter). Staff strongly encourages users of this template to personalize their letter to the FAA.

The public is encouraged to let their city and the FAA know what they think about the proposed change on or before September 21, 2010. Residents of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes may provide comments directly to the City (preferably to the attention of Dennis McLean, Director of Finance & Information Technology) by emailing airspace@rpv.com.. City of Rancho Palos Verdes Staff will attach all written comments it receives to its public comment letter to the FAA. Residents of the other South Bay cities should contact their city directly with their comments. Comments provided directly to the FAA should be in triplicate and mailed to:

Clark Desing, Operations Support Group, AJV-W2
Western Service Area, Air Traffic Organization
Federal Aviation Administration
1601 Lind Avenue, SW
Renton, WA 98057

Based upon the advice of the City's aviation consultant, a copy of all public comments should also be sent concurrently to:

William C. Withycombe
Western-Pacific Region Regional Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration
P.O. Box 92007
Los Angeles, CA 90009-2007

Posted August 18, 2010

The Federal Aviation Administration (the "FAA") is considering a proposal to change the airspace designation surrounding Long Beach Airport (LGB) from its current Class D designation to a more restricted Class C designation. If the airspace change occurs, all aircraft will be required to contact Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Control Center "TRACON", also known as "SCT", for authorization prior to entering the LGB Class C airspace.  The current LGB Class D airspace (click here to view a map of the current Class D airspace) is a radius of about 5 miles surrounding the airport and does not reach the 110 Freeway or extend beyond the shoreline in the Long Beach/Los Angeles Harbor area. However, the proposed Class C airspace would extend north to the 91 Freeway corridor, west to the 110 Freeway corridor and 5-10 miles south beyond the ocean shoreline and wrap around the coastline down towards Costa Mesa (click here to view a map of the proposed Class C airspace).  The FAAS's proposed LGB Class C airspace would be about 3 times larger than the existing Class D airspace.

Concern has been raised that the proposed LGB airspace change will "push" a greater number of instructional, testing and practice aircraft flights from the designated Long Beach/Los Angeles Harbor Flight training Area into the Palos Verdes Flight Training and Practice Area along the Palos Verdes Peninsula coastline.  This concern stems from belief that general aviation aircraft may elect to fly west of the 110 Freeway along the eastern ridge of the Palos Verdes Peninsula in order to avoid the requirement of obtaining authorization from SCT air traffic controllers before entering the LGB airspace. Furthermore, there is concern that flights departing from Torrance Airport and arriving to the coastal Palos Verdes Flight Training and Practice Area will increase general aviation traffic over both the north side of Palos Verdes Estates and the Hollywood Riviera area of Redondo Beach.  The City's aviation consultant has expressed a similar first impression.

The Los Angeles basin is considered one of the most complex air spaces in the country regarding the management of air traffic.  The commercial aircraft industry segment (i.e. passenger airlines and freight carriers) might be expected to support the airspace change citing improved air safety, especially passenger safety.  The general aviation aircraft community (i.e. flight schools, flying clubs and small businesses) might be expected to oppose the proposed airspace change citing the reasons to not enter Class C airspace and its unfavorable impact on flight schools, limiting general aviation use and safety.  The possible impact on the quality of life of the City's residents and tourism community may result from the possible increase of aircraft noise and the risks resulting from aircraft compression - more general aviation aircraft flying in a defined area are important considerations for the City.  Of course, maintaining air flight safety in Southern California is of the upmost importance.

The FAA conducted meetings on June 22, 2010 and June 23, 2010 to gather facts and public comments pursuant to the regulatory process that could possibly lead to an airspace change surrounding LGB.  The FAA will consider the comments prior to making a decision whether to move forward with the proposed LGB airspace change.  If the FAA decides to move forward, the process will include the issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, followed by a public comment process prior to a final decision to change the LGB airspace.  The process could take up to a couple years before any rulemaking is finalized.


The City plans to continue to use its web site and Airport Noise listserver group to provide updates regarding the FAA's LGB airspace proposal. To join the listserver group, please visit http://pvalert.com/listserver/