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LAX Expansion

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Dagny
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Early this year, in Speech class, I had to argue on a controversial subject. I chose to speak about the expansion of LAX. As this affects people in this area I thought it would make an interesting topic to debate/comment about.

Pros:

1) Enlarging the airport will make the runways bigger and avert all those close calls they've been having. It seems that the two major runways, where one plane is going westward and the other eastward have had close calls where the tips of the wings came very close to colliding with each other and causing damage.

2) It will also update the technology (e.g. tower/pilot communications) that is years and years behind other major city airports.

3) Enlarging the airport's runways would allow the new Airbus airplanes to make LAX one of its stops. It currently isn't.

http://events.airbus.com/events/a380_reveal/event/index.asp

Cons:

1) People of the surrounding communities (El Segundo, Inglewood, Marina Del Rey) complain that there is already too much airport noise/pollution. The last thing they need is a larger airport that would accomodate more airplanes.

2) People are also worried about how much tax-payer's money will be going into this project. They don't think it will be administrated properly.

Finally, talk of LAX expansion has been going on for over ten years with nothing having been done yet. Back in January former mayor Hahn had made a commitment to expand LAX. However, then candidate Villaraigosa won voters from the LAX area over by his promise NOT to expand LAX.

For more pros, cons and articles, check these out.

"Residents have their say on LAX expansion plans"

http://www.laane.org/pressroom/stories/lax/lax041215wsj.html

"Close Calls on LAX Runways"

http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-me-lax24n...-home-headlines

What are your thoughts on the subject?

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Cons:

1) People of the surrounding communities (El Segundo, Inglewood, Marina Del Rey) complain that there is already too much airport noise/pollution. The last thing they need is a larger airport that would accomodate more airplanes.

2) People are also worried about how much tax-payer's money will be going into this project. They don't think it will be administrated properly.

I don't have a lot to say on this, but the something that instantly springs to mind is eminent domain. Are they going to "buy up land" around the airport by the force of eminent domain and thus displace home owners living there in the process? If so I'd be dead set against it.

Ideally, the issue of airport expansion should really be a decision based on the market place, and the logistics of the particular situation. When I say "ideally", I mean in a completely free country.

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As with all construction projects, the issue that is really being debated is probably not whether LAX should be allowed to expand, but whether air traffic should be allowed to expand. There are alternatives to expanding the existing airport: a new airport could be built elsewhere, possibly on an artificial island in the sea like KIX. I bet many of the people who are against expanding LAX would also be against the new airport. The concretes they bring up (noise, pollution, birds, etc.) are merely pawns in the game whose real stake is: technology.

Are they going to "buy up land" around the airport by the force of eminent domain and thus displace home owners living there in the process? If so I'd be dead set against it.

I'd be against the use of eminent domain, but for the expansion of the airport without using eminent domain.

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I'd be against the use of eminent domain, but for the expansion of the airport without using eminent domain.

I would be for their freedom to expand. Whether they should or not depends on the context.

Side note: If the roads were all private, I could see much faster transport via car (or its equivalent) being developed. Imagine a car that goes 200 or 300 miles per hour at cruise speed in a tubed highway system that is controlled by computers with sensor feedback. You plug in your destination, and *bang*, you're on your way from New York to Los Angeles in about the time it takes to fly.

That sort of a system would greatly reduce the need for air traffic and would make travel so much safer and more efficient. Not only that, it seems quite doable to me.

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  • 4 years later...

Los Angeles is a huge international tourist destination. Some of the people resisting the expansion of LAX may not make the connection that their jobs are dependent on the air traffic they are resisting.

On the other side, car traffic in Los Angeles is stifling, especially during peak tourist months. Anyone who spends two hours driving two miles will have a strong resistance to more people coming and going anywhere.

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The "Close Calls on LAX Runways" article is (unsurprisingly) suspect due to errors and exaggerations:

"Millions of dollars have been spent to install signs and paint markings on the airfield to guide pilots as they navigate the closely spaced runways. Maps have been created for pilots to highlight danger spots."

- Major airports spend vast amounts of money on signs and markings anyway, and all public airports have maps published in the quarterly FAA Aviation documentation.

"Still, pilots and controllers at LAX continue to violate federal rules that allow only one plane on a runway at a time. Since May, six close calls have been reported."

- There is no such regulation. Air traffic controllers have discretionary authority over when to allow planes on the runway. If one plane has just landed and is rolling out to the taxiway, another plane is allowed to position and hold on the runway until the departure path is clear. There ARE rules about how planes can be put on the runway, but hell, at the annual EAA convention, there is 1 runway and ATC has 3 planes landing at ONE TIME on that one - they put down 3 marks - red, blue and white IIRC, and each plane is given a designated landing spot where they are to touch down.

"About 80% of the close calls between aircraft at LAX occur on the busier south side after pilots land on the outer runway and use taxiways to cross the inner runway on their way to the terminals. Among the nation's airports, LAX is unusual because airplanes cross active runways about 900 times a day."

- Now THIS is believable - if the ground controllers (who tell planes in transit on the ground where to go) are not coordinating with tower (who controls the runway), you can get a real mess.

NOT saying that reconfiguring LAX isn't a good idea - but as usual, where aviation is concerned, the media goes for the dramatic over the accurate.

Greebo - PP-ASEL (inactive)

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