by Michael Lowrey
Never underestimate the power, persistence, and very strange logic of NIMBYs. Perhaps the ultimate case in point comes from Long Beach, CA. Long Beach (LGB) has one of the five commercial airports in the Los Angeles area (the other four are Los Angeles International (LAX), Santa Ana/Orange County (SNA), Ontario (ONT), and Burbank (BUR). LGB also has residents around the airport that don’t like airplane noise who have considerable political pull; the city was one of the first to adopt noise-based limits on the number of flights a day. Currently the local NIMBYs are aghast that LGB will have to allow more flights a day. As the Grunion Gazette reports:
The airport opened the additional flights in January after an analysis last year of the cumulative noise made by commercial jets showed it had to go from offering a minimum of 41 commercial flights a day to 50 a day to stay within the parameters of the city’s noise ordinance.
Opponents to airport expansion have argued that the City Council should fight the determination of added flights, but no action was taken because the council did not have jurisdiction to take any action.
The irony here? McDonald Douglas and later Boeing built commercial and military aircraft in Long Beach. The plant is only now shutting down as the last C-17s are being delivered. So yes, Long Beach is quite OK with the good that comes from aviation (jobs) but isn’t interested in the associated cost (noise).