Long Beach Airport Initiates Process to Reduce Curfew Violations

Aug. 14, 2017

Long Beach Airport is beginning a public process to consider amendments to the City’s noise regulations. The recommendation is based on an initial analysis by airport staff and review by the City Attorney’s Office, outside legal counsel, and preliminary discussions with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to encourage compliance and reduce curfew violations.

“We are committed to reduce the number of nightly curfew violations at the Long Beach Airport,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. "It's important that we protect the quality of life of the thousands of residents who are being affected by the constant violations."

The Noise Ordinance has been largely successful in minimizing the number of departure and arrival curfew violations; however, in more recent years, the number of curfew violations increased significantly. From January 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017, there have been 119 violations during the sensitive nighttime hours between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., with an additional 14 violations occurring during 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Between 2015 and 2016, the number of curfew violations significantly increased from 89 to 134.  Through the first six months of 2017, air carrier curfew violations conducted outside of the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. for a total of 133, nearly double the number of violations in previous periods. This pattern illustrates that the current fine structure does not provide the financial incentive to avoid curfew arrivals and departures at the Airport.

“We are encouraged that with recent administrative regulation changes made at other noise controlled airports, there is precedent for the City to make some adaptations to our Airport noise regulations,” said Jess L. Romo, airport director. “Long Beach Airport has a long history of working with the community and balancing the interests of our various stakeholders. We are fortunate to have one of the few noise control ordinances in the nation. Originally enacted in 1995, these updates are needed to encourage compliance.”

The proposed amendments would:

  • Increase the fine structure and target repeat violators by progressively increasing fine amounts to be more in line with fines at other curfew airports in the region.
  • Authorize the Airport Director to require the return of allocated air carrier flight slots in the case of excessive and repeated noise violations.
  • Modify the minimum flight slot-use regulations to require increased utilization.
  • Make other updates and changes to modernize the ordinance, while ensuring that the City maintains its grandfathered status under the federal Airport Noise and Capacity Act or “ANCA.”