Board approves 6th study of runway safety at LAX

City airport commissioners decided Monday to go ahead with a sixth study of whether the north runways at Los Angeles International Airport are too close together, and if so, what to do about it. A group of five studies released earlier this year...

His worry is that airport commissioners aren't just looking to make the airport safer, but also seek to expand its ability to handle more aircraft.

Still, several commissioners said the community group's proposed study questions don't go far enough. They also wanted to know whether the runways could handle giant aircraft such as the Airbus A380 -- due to begin flying to LAX next year -- and what effect the runways have on the airport's operational ability.

Most important, commissioners wanted NASA to propose solutions.

Velasco, who cast the lone no vote, argued that risk will never be eliminated at the airport and reminded her colleagues that near-collisions at LAX have been due to human error.

FAA Administrator Marion Blakey is expected to visit Los Angeles on Thursday and meet with city officials to discuss the airport. On Monday, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the agency's stance -- that the north airfield is flawed and must be fixed for safety -- remains unchanged.

"We've gone on record with our position, and to date the airport has not formally presented us with another proposal for the north airfield," Gregor said.

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