Councilmember Nithya Raman, Council President Paul Krekorian and Councilmember Bob Blumenfeld introduced a motion this week to set clear standards of community outreach from the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) regarding updates made to the Van Nuys Airport.
The Van Nuys Airport (VNY) is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country, located in the San Fernando Valley. Over the past few years, VNY has undergone major development and modernization in the form of infrastructure upgrades and reconstruction of hangars to provide private jet service.
During the pandemic, when commercial airlines experienced some of the most severe impacts to their industry, private air traffic into and out of VNY grew. Though this growth has brought financial gain to the airport and the City of Los Angeles – and additional jobs for Angelenos – it has come at a real cost to San Fernando Valley residents. Increased noise, pollution, and air traffic complicate regional efforts to address environmental justice concerns and the climate crisis.
“Van Nuys Airport is an important hub for jobs and economic activity in Los Angeles, but San Fernando Valley Residents have not always felt consistently included or briefed on projects that have significant impacts to their daily lives,” said Councilmember Raman. “At a time when the City of Los Angeles is transitioning to new leadership, thoughtful action is required to restore the public’s trust – and this motion provides an opportunity for LAWA to do just that.”
The legislation would require LAWA to report back within 90 days with a complete list of all redevelopment projects and corresponding awards since 2017, details regarding the community outreach for the aforementioned list and their compliance with the 2005 VNY Master Plan, environmental impacts of these projects, and a proposal for future community engagement for all VNY projects. Additionally, LAWA would be required to ensure all future Van Nuys Citizens Advisory Council meetings are recorded and available for the public on LAWA’s website within 60 days, or provide a report back to Council on ways to record these meetings to ensure greater transparency to the public.