Touching Bases: L.A. sues charter operator over VNY noise
The Los Angeles board of airport commissioners, the agency that oversees several airports in the metropolitan area, announced last month it was suing charter operator Pacific Jet. The suit involves what the board called Pacific Jet’s “repeated noise violations” at Van Nuys Airport (VNY). The action comes as part of the city’s enforcement of the so-called Stage 2 non-addition rule, an amendment to 1981 city legislation called the Noise Abatement and Curfew Ordinance. Under the controversial non-addition portion of the ordinance, upheld in August 2001, Stage 2 jets had to meet certain residency requirements to be grandfathered into exemption from the ban. Further, transient Stage 2 aircraft are limited to a maximum of 30 calendar days per year that a non-based jet can use VNY. According to an airport spokesman, several of Pacific Jet’s aircraft, mostly Gulfstreams, did not meet the grandfather requirements and the company was issued multiple noise violations. They included curfew and maintenance-runup infractions, as well as excesses in regular takeoffs and landings. The airport spokesman described Pacific Jet as a “subtenant” of another airport tenant at VNY. A spokeswoman for Pacific Jet said at press time that the company had been instructed not to comment by its attorneys.