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FAA OKS NOISE CURBS IN VAN NUYS; AGENCY BACKS CURFEW EXTENSION, LIMIT ON LOUD AIRCRAFT.

Byline: Rick Orlov Daily News Staff Writer

In a major victory for noise-weary residents, the Federal Aviation Administration has cleared the way to extend the curfew at Van Nuys Airport and begin restrictions on noisier aircraft.

``Finally, we've got some action from the FAA to help us,'' said Councilman Joel Wachs, who plans to ask the Airports Commission to take immediate action on the two proposals.

The federal agency said in a letter that the city can move to extend its 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew by starting it at 10 p.m. Also, it said the city can implement a policy called the ``non-addition'' rule that allows the city to ban adding any more noisy jets at the facility.

``This is a bright day for the city,'' said Bret Lobner, senior assistant city attorney. ``This is something we've been fighting for a long time.''

The Airports Commission has gone on the record twice previously in favoring extension of the curfew and in having the power to limit the number of noisy planes at the airport.

Gerald Silver of Homeowners of Encino and a critic of the airport operations, said the action will provide some relief but that more is needed - particularly in the regulation of helicopters.

``On the whole it is good, but in some sense, it's too little, too late,'' Silver said. ``The curfew will help some, but we really need something to ban all the noisy jets and deal with the helicopters.''

The ruling from the FAA is a reversal of its decision a year ago to not allow extending the curfew and limiting the jets.

Mayor Richard Riordan entered the fray this year by asking the Airports Commission to appeal that earlier decision to give some peace at night to residents living around the facility.

Airports General Manager John Driscoll has said adding an hour to the curfew would affect six to eight flights a night and only those in which the engines exceed 74 decibels.

Silver said that is part of his concern.

``We will still have planes under 74 decibels flying out at all hours,'' Silver said. ``We need real relief.''

As for the non-addition rule, it will allow the city to not permit any more jets that fall in the stage 2 category - those planes that create more than 74 decibels of noise - to remain permanently based at the airport.

The only exception would be those aircraft that come in to be modified to become the quieter stage 3 planes.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 30, 1997
Words:420
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