Irresponsible Aviation is a National Crisis

Southern California - San Fernando Valley

Approximately TWO MILLION residents strong

Moral citizens of the San Fernando Valley have long recognized the dangers of unfettered growth at our local airports under the guise of economic benefit or need.  The problem is not unique to us, but a National Issue of irresponsible government dictated by special interests or naivety. Both Burbank (BUR) and Van Nuys (VNY) airports are landlocked facilities that hold a legal and ethical responsibility to remain "good neighbors", and yet, our local - state and federal governments fail to ensure the protection of our natural environments and resources, or even their own constituents' health, well-being and basic civil liberties and rights.  The cities that own these airports must be held accountable to ensure any ideals of growth are balanced with the health of the Valley and Santa Monica Mountains' existing population, as well as the well-being of our shared local assets and vital ecosystem.  VNY has already exceeded any reasonable ideal of balance, and BUR airport is at the brink. SoCalSFV is a resource and collaboration dedicated to fighting for justice, common sense & moral actions.  California needs State Aviation Airport Reform now, and leglislation on a Federal level.

BUR has always been a commercial airport with a manageable volume, that is, until complications from the FAA's NextGen rollout arose and the airport's plans for expansion were announced.  As the victims of BUR air traffic, Los Angeles residents spoke out in support of the L.A. City Attorney to challenge the deficiencies in the environmental review process for the proposed replacement terminal.  Meanwhile, VNY’s furtive conversion to act as an international commercial entity has put the health and well-being of 100's of thousands of residents in SFV, as well as our natural environments in the Santa Monica Mountains, in unwarranted jeopardy.  Whether privileged demand exists or not, there is nothing necessary, nor responsible, about private and private charter travel.  Travel that, predominately, accommodates the 1% of the world's population, which is fine - IF an airport operates in responsible balance to the local environment (including the human environment) and does not allow its land use to accomodate an exaggerated volume that devestates the common good.  The year 2021 introduced the reality that VNY air traffic has spread like a cancer across the Valley skies, at horrifyingly low altitudes from 500 - 4,300 ft AGL, coating everything with toxic emissions, lead, noise, visual blight and ultra-fine particulate matter.

The gratuitous opening of Custom services at VNY in 2015, Jet Aviation / Gulfstream Aerospace VNY opening in Nov/Dec 2019 that booted Helinet off the property in lieu of increasing Jet capacity, additional expansion projects reaching completion in 2017 - 2019 and 2021 - 2022, and the advent of Covid that enhanced the desire for private air travel among the wealthy, are all contributors to a general aviation airport transforming into an unsustainable commercial entity with absolutely NO consideration of the common good.  It bears repeating, if the environmental toll weren’t so great, we might all aspire to fly private.  As it is, the severe impact that private jet travel has on all surrounding communities and our vital ecosystems, is quite simply, devastating.  Governor Newsom signed into law a phase out of gas lawn mowers and leaf blowers due to their pollution factor, including noise, but California pays no attention to the detriment of hobbyist pilots flying lead fuel spewing aircraft, or the excessive air traffic engulfing a densly populated Valley just so the ultra-wealthy don't have to stand in lines, go through TSA or fly first class.  We must now demand that our elected officials begin to recognize the blatant hypocrisy of accommodating excessive private charters and jets, and (if necessary) vote-in new representatives that will begin to act in a responsible manner that ensures city airports remain in proportion to the limits of their local environments.  For the sake and well-being of the common good and all living biota in Los Angeles, our landlocked airports must not be allowed to expand beyond reason whether by means of redevelopment or otherwise.  It's time for remediation.  We, our children, wildlife and our planet deserve better.  

While the Aviation crisis is a NATIONAL fight, local SoCal SFV communities impacted by BUR and VNY: Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Woodland Hills, West Hills, Bell Canyon, Chatsworth, Canoga Park, Northridge, Sherwood Forest, Winnekta, Reseda, Lake Balboa, Van Nuys, North Hills (East + West), Valley Glen, North Hollywood, Valley Village, Toluca Lake, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Bel Air/Beverly Crest, Encino, and Tarzana... to name a few.

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