West Athens Community Letter to Congresswoman Waters

Here’s a letter the West Athens, Hollypark and Parkside Village communities sent to our representative Congresswoman Waters. She responded by participating in a community meeting in February 2018 and continues to help community members with airport issues.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Honorable Congresswoman Maxine Waters
US House of Representatives
2221 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Michael P. Huerta
FAA Administrator
800 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20591

Via US Mail

Re: Hawthorne-West Athens Part 150 Participation

Dear Congresswoman Waters and Administrator Huerta,

We are located in the flight path of the Hawthorne airport. Our community is concerned about safety, noise and pollution issues caused by the increasing commercial air traffic into Hawthorne (HHR).

We have tried for over a year to engage with the airport; however, the airport says they are unable to schedule a meeting with our community at this time.  The airport is finishing their Part 150 noise study but never included the West Athens community as part of the process. Community members have sent Part 150 comment letters to the local FAA office which have gone unanswered.

We support the aviation community and watch many small planes pass over us without any problems. However, the increasing number of low flying Surf Air commercial flights and large Lear jets landing at Hawthorne raise several safety, noise and pollution questions which the airport has been unable to answer. When the new stadium opens the number of commercial flights and jets will only increase and our neighborhoods will suffer even more negative impacts.

The unanswered concerns we raised with the airport and local FAA office include:

  1. Safety concerns as low flying aircraft pass within feet of high-power electrical lines on Raymond
  2. Safety concerns from the increasing volume of landing airplanes and helicopter cross-traffic over our heads
  3. Safety concerns after learning the control tower is not staffed at night or on weekends when commercial flights and Lear jets are landing
  4. Increasing noise in our homes day and night from Surf Air and helicopters passing over us
  5. Lack of any noise studies at Henry Clay Middle School aka Ánimo Western Charter School and West Athens Elementary School which were not properly marked as schools on the airport’s Part 150 noise maps
  6. Outdated and invalid Part 150 noise studies, traffic and aircraft type analysis. The airport’s research in 2014 was conducted before Surf Air started flying. This includes the absurd conclusion the airport’s noise boundaries from 2014 to 2017 shrank even though the FAA knows Surf Air is a noise problem airline. The FAA is working with San Carlos Airport neighbors to mitigate Surf Air noise problems. Why will the FAA not work with our community?
  7. There is 0% compliance with several aspects of Hawthorne’s Fly Quietly Guidelines in the landing zone and the airport has responded there is nothing they can do. They told us pilots can fly wherever they want, as low as they want when they are landing in VFR conditions. They can skim the high-power electrical towers when landing if they want to. Pilots don’t have to follow fly quietly guidelines and we suffer the consequences.
  8. We are also concerned with the fine particulate, lead emissions and NOx pollution from the Lear jets the AQMD has discovered during their studies of airports and the negative impact pollution will have on our community and children.
  9. We would also like information about sound proofing programs that will help neighbors impacted by noise from landing/departing aircraft and Hawthorne Airport.

We should note the Airport front office staff is kind, professional and willing to listen. However, they’re unable to answer any of our questions and have sent us back to the FAA who they believe has ultimate responsibility for the planes over us. The local FAA office directs us to speak with the airport.

We have offered to work with airport staff on these issues but have gotten no clear answers or help. We have a right to participate in this large community project of turning Hawthorne Airport into Los Angeles County’s fourth commercial airport.  This impacts our homes and our lives.

There are many great models from our region where airports and neighborhoods work together. This includes the LAX Community Noise Roundtable and the Long Beach Airport Advisory Committee.  We hope one day soon we can achieve that level of permanent cooperation with Hawthorne Airport.

At this time, we ask if you’ll please call for a West Athens community meeting so we can share our concerns about the airport with you and understand the proper way to address the issues in a timely manner.

We need someone to take responsibility for aviation safety over our homes, and soon.

Names of residents from West Athens / Harbor Gateway / Hollypark / Parkside Village and other HHR Airport impacted neighborhoods

Etta Handy, Harbor Gateway North

Dee Rosales, Harbor Gateway North

Rodney Beckles, Fairmont Court, Parkside Village

Denise Betts, Wilkie Ave, Hollypark

Michael Torgov, Acadia Ct, Parkside Village

Neil White, Parkside Village

Brenda Lyfsey, 120th St, West Athens

Alec Mackie, 126th St, West Athens

Mrs. Grant, Van Ness Ave, Hollypark

Ahmed Ahmed, Arcturus Ave, Hollypark

Justin Puggioni, 120th St, West Athens-Hawthorne

John Harris, 122nd St, West Athens

Lynda Anderson, 126th St, West Athens

Brian and Tiffany Méjia, 126th St, West Athens

Jimmy Daniels, 127th St, West Athens

La Quita Pittman, Bruin St, West Athens

Kathy and Dave Teal, Cimarron Ave, Hollypark

Eric Ceja, 124th St, West Athens

JM Spann, 120th St, West Athens

Annette Silas, Casimir Ave, Hollypark

Nancy Trojan, Harbor Gateway North

Eva Arrington, Van Ness Ave, Hollypark

Jackie Poon, Acadia Court, Parkside Village

Mable Chevalier, West Athens-Hawthorne

Gilbert Martinez, Acadia Court, Parkside Village

Mary Junior, West Athens

Ana Garcia, Harbor Gateway North

Englebert Lopez, Arcturus Ave, Hollypark

Donald Henderson, Rebecca Henderson, Aaron Henderson and Eric Henderson, Acadia Court, Parkside Village

Deborah Moore, Parkside Village

Edgar Rosales, Diane Rosales, Diana Ospina, Rosalba Cortes, Kiara Rosales, Harbor Gateway North

Arturo Turrubiartes, Millennium Park Ct, Parkside Village

Cindy Sanchez, Millennium Park Ct, Parkside Village

Paul Turrubiartes, Millennium Park Ct, Parkside Village

Fredrika Batts, 116th St, West Athens-Hawthorne

Annette Batts, 122nd St, West Athens

Kandi Johnson, Hollypark

Dave Stodden, Parkside Village

CC via email:

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein U.S. Senator Kamala Harris
California State Senator Steven Bradford California Assembly Member Autumn Burke
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas Mayor Alex Vargas, City of Hawthorne
Harbor Gateway Neighborhood Council Mayor Tasha Cerda, City of Gardena
Karly Katona, Associate Chief Deputy, Office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, LA County Guido Fernandez, Hawthorne Airport
Alyson Stewart, Sr. Regional Planning Assistant, LA County ALUC Dennis Roberts, Regional Administrator, FAA
Sudhin Shahani, CEO, Surf Air Victor Globa, Environmental Specialist, FAA
Mack Mossett, Principal, Ánimo Western Charter Middle School Jeff Clay, Assistant Principal, West Athens Elementary



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