Hawthorne Quiet Skies Coalition Hosts Successful Community Meeting – Feb 2018

Four neighborhood associations have joined together to work on Hawthorne Airport noise and safety issues. We held our first open community meeting in February 2018. Approximately 50 community members attended and shared their concerns.

Feb 2018 HHR Coalition Meeting agenda

Issues presented at the meeting included:

  • Current flight paths are a serious issue/pilots are not following fly quietly guidelines (pdf)
  • No one is willing to work with neighborhood associations on noise abatement. There is an endless circle of blame and excuses from government representatives: the FAA is responsible; the Pilots are responsible; the Airport is responsible; and so on endlessly.
  • Lots of community questions – no answers yet from the airport.

Surf Air and Private Jets Noise Impact on Neighborhoods is Widespread


Who does what at Hawthorne Airport?

Talk about trying to nail jello to a wall! It works for these government agencies to pass the buck and blame the other government agency, completing avoiding any responsibility to the community.

Agencies Responsibilities Response to Neighbors
HHR Pilots VFR pilots fly any route/altitude they want. They write the pilots guide. Willing to talk/work together.
FAA Noise study, IFR routes, tower. Refuses to meet with us.

Wants us to work with Airport.

(private contractor)
Routes pilots, flight safety,
tower is staffed 6:00am-10:00pm. Commercial flights and jets land when NO ONE is in the tower!
Refused to answer questions.

“Everything is completely safe.”

Said to never call him again.

City of Hawthorne Noise study, pilots guide, fly quietly program, takes noise complaints, soundproofing?? Says has no authority over FAA and Pilots and cannot help us.
Congresswoman Water’s Office FAA liaison and community support. Actively working on our questions & seeking answers. FAA told them they refuse to meet us. FAA says they cannot help us.
Supervisor Thomas’ Office Monitoring our situation. His office said we must work with Congresswoman Waters’ office as these are FAA matters.


Problems with Hawthorne Airports Part 150 Study

Issue Current Status Findings
Part 150 Noise Maps did not identify sensitive schools and residences “The two schools were classified as ‘Misc Govt Property.’” “Regarding Parkside Village this parcel was classified as ‘vacant industrial zoned lot.’ Based on these classifications, parcels were not included in the noise-sensitive land uses dataset.”
– Victor Globa, FAA 12/18/17
The wrong LA County maps and data were used by Hawthorne’s noise study consultant (Coffmann Associates) and the FAA approved the final study knowing the maps are wrong.
West Athens and Wiseburn were not invited/represented in Hawthorne Part 150 Noise Study “Hawthorne held 6 workshops & 2 public hearings…. Advertised in the Hawthorne Press Tribune which is a local newspaper. West Athens is in Unincorporated LA County and was represented by County Planning (Carmen Sainz and Bruce Darbin).”
– Victor Globa, FAA 12/18/17
1)We called the Hawthorne Press tribune and they apologized to us – we never would have seen the notice in West Athens. The newspaper only circulates within Hawthorne and mailed to some subscribers.

2)We contacted Bruce Darbin, LA County:
“ALUC does not necessarily have a ‘representative’ role. (We’re) primarily concerned with maintaining compliance with the LA County Airport Land Use Plan, and serves …a ’coordinating’ role”

Bottomline: Wiseburn and West Athens neighbors were complaining about noise in 2016 and we were never invited to Hawthorne’s Part 150 noise study. We were left out of it.


Issue Current Status Findings
Surf Air’s growth  2015-Present means Hawthorne is now a major commuter & private jet hub and this was never studied in Part 150 Noise studies were conducted in 2014 before the major growth of Surf Air and private jet landings.

“Due to aircraft and fleet mix changes since 2014, at the airport, FAA recommends the City review, revise and update as appropriate future NEMs at the earliest opportunity. At that time, opportunities for public review and comment.”
– Victor Globa, FAA, 12/17/18

Their noise studies were out of date and do not apply to the planes currently flying into the airport.

FAA says the City should update NEMs at the “earliest convenience”. When will the City of Hawthorne begin this?

Pilots Guide and Fly Quietly program are not followed “The Pilot Guide and Noise Abatement Procedures is voluntary and is being retained from the 1994 NCP. The City will continue to meet with pilots and encourage them to use the noise abatement procedures.”

– Victor Globa, FAA, 12/17/18

The FAA is incorrect – both a Chief Pilot and the Airport told us the Pilots Guide from 1994 is not followed and not used as no one understands it.  The Airport and Pilots never planned to use this old one.

Throughout the final Part 150, the FAA refers to the Hawthorne’s Fly Quietly Pilots guide which pilots and the airport admit they do not use.

Bottomline: The Airport and FAA completed an inaccurate Part 150 that already needs to be redone.


Issue Current Status Findings
The report recommends researching both departures/arrivals over Parkside Village and West Athens nighttime “This type of runway operation is commonly referred to as “head-to-head.” On 8/7/12 FAA issued a notice suspending head-to-head. While Hawthorne is not a commercial airport, the benefits of head-to-head operation during the nighttime hours should be analyzed.”
– Final Hawthorne Part 150 report
Unfair to burden the neighbors east of the airport with all nighttime noise. Jets land at HHR from midnight to 5am sometimes.

It’s also  exceedingly dangerous to have planes landing and taking off – flying right at each other!!!

Curfews needlessly ruled out “FAA disapproval of curfews is likely because of the limited impacts within the 65 CNEL contour. Therefore, curfews will not be considered further.”

– Final Hawthorne Part 150 report

The report is biased against neighborhoods, we would definitely want to negotiate a reasonable curfew that works for neighbors and airlines alike. Will Surf Air land and takeoff after 10:00pm??
Hawthorne’s Noise Boundaries Shrank The Part 150 report says the airport is much quieter compared to the 1994 report & its noise boundaries shrank.  Ridiculous – Hawthorne has never before seen this many noisy turbo jets and private jets landing and taking off.
Bottomline: The final Part 150 was written by the Airport with FAA backing and is biased against neighborhoods. It was a study of the old Hawthorne airport, with many small planes. It does not reflect the new, busy commercial turbo-prop/jet hub Hawthorne is today. The report should be redone asap with wider neighborhood input.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.