The FINAL KWHP CAC MEETING – A Summary – The Vote – Concluding Thoughts

The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) held what was billed as the final meeting Thursday 2/23/2023 via Zoom virtual conference.  A vote was held to select the motion to be sent to the L A County Supervisors for use as an advisory document.

Per Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors motion on December 8, 2020, the County has formed a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) made up of leaders and stakeholders from the community and Airport to provide input throughout the process.

​The CAC members will use their local insight and knowledge to understand community concerns and identify new opportunities, such as the creation of local jobs, community beneficial uses, and dedicated open space at the airport.

Two sections of the charge are as follows:

  1. Engage local stakeholders, including but not limited to, Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez’s Office, community-based organizations such as Pacoima Beautiful, residents, businesses, and other government partners to undertake a community-driven master plan for Whiteman Airport that maintains the property’s primary function as an airport but provides for the creation of local jobs, community beneficial uses, and open space opportunities.
  2. Conduct appropriate environmental studies to assess the airport’s potential environmental and health risks.

The keywords that witnesses proclaim that were not acknowledged by all of the participants are “…maintains the property’s primary function as an airport…”

Several times throughout the evening, participants referred to panel members in attendance as belonging to one of two sides, those that want the airport to remain open, and those who want it closed. Over the last 18 months, there appears to be no evidence that there was sufficient guidance to assure that the goal as charged was adhered to, and several in attendance assessed that from the start those appointed to the committee were hand chosen because of pre-existing bias.

District Director for City Councilwoman Monic Rodriquez, Rocio Hernandez stated clearly on Thursday evening that “Whiteman Airport’s purpose is that of recreation and leisure. It is not one of necessity. So comparing it to vehicles & trains is really kinda uncalled for, um, when our families do rely on vehicles & trains out f necessity and not luxury.”

That opinion was directly opposed by LA County Firebase Chief Robert Gaylor, who later explained that with regard to emergency response that the airport is very important to the state, regional, and local governments, and provides an airbridge should surface infrastructure be challenged by any catastrophic event. Specifically, it is not important for just Pacoima, but also for the entire San Fernando Valley and beyond, protecting residents from fire and catastrophe.

CAC member Bobby Arias – Champions in Service, associated with the development of Pacoima Plaza, who credited the Chief with saving his home three times, asked the Fire chief if the larger acreage that the airport occupies was necessary for emergency services as his firebase size occupies just a small slice of the overall property. Mr. Arias implied that the planes flying in and out were not really needed and that the larger parcel could be home to development. The fire chief responded very clearly that the airport was important, as mentioned above, and in addition, should the air traffic control tower be closed, the airspace protection needed for his service would also vanish, and emergency departures would then be dependent upon Burbank ATC, which would be more cumbersome, and no doubt delayed by other competing area flight arrivals and departures.

It was thought the fire chief’s professional opinion was important as clearly expressed to the gentleman who represented himself as preferring an education center to be constructed on the airport land as opposed to its current use as an airport.  Mr. Arias chose to ignore the comments of the fire chief and later voted to close the airport. He argued monies would be available and secured by politicians for development, others argued that there are plenty of adjacent spaces that are available, that are not part of an important infrastructure network, and don’t currently employ hundreds of people, collect millions in property taxes, provide other valuable community services, and spread economic benefit all around the Pacoima community.

The notion of keeping the airport open or closing the airport predominated the discussion.

Community residents were portrayed as victimized by the airport and serious grievances need to be addressed by LA County which was severely criticized by the CEO of Pacoima Beautiful. Airport non-profits and businesses were also severely criticized for allegedly not reaching out to the community and sharing resources. Examples of attempted community outreach were given by David Kolstad, Jeanne Fenimore, and Lisa Fusano, and when seeking assistance from Pacoima Beautiful they were denied that assistance. Even attendance at a promoted Pacoima Beautiful public event was denied to a polite and passive airport supporter who by report was turned away.

It was pointed out that every neighborhood council in CD7 has voted to support the airport. Petition signers have replied about 4 to 1 in favor of the airport, but in spite of these facts, Pacoima Beautiful would prefer to see the aviation commission include members with no aviation experience, and the airport closed. They favor L A County paying for a host of mitigating services without financial assistance from the FAA for a large list of city residents living in some cases, right up to the edge of the runway, judged safe by the city zoning regulation at the time of building construction, but now alleged by Pacoima Beautiful to be unsafe, and the cause of trauma for the residents that chose to live there.  Their opinion is that the once remotely located airport should be held liable for alleged noise, lead pollution, and safety risk incurred by the now-present city residents and businesses.

Regarding noise, the study that was completed revealed that there were 335 noncompatible locations. Community input related that the loud semi-trucks that travel on San Fernando Road were not included in that study, nor were the Union Pacific freight train and Metro link train, both considerably louder than the planes from Whiteman Airport, but neither is being criticized by Pacoima Beautiful.  See the Noise Study results Here.

Something that Fire Chief Robert Gaylor referred to, but maybe not realized by the nonflying community, is that should the airport close, the air traffic tower would also close and the currently protected airspace immediately above the ground up to about 3000 feet would also go away, and instead of regulated flight tracks and altitudes that aircraft must fly now, no such restrictions will be in place and that would allow for lower flying aircraft and possibly many diverse flight tracks.

Regarding Pollution, assertions were made that lead poisoning has affected residents and that studies need to be done as several in the community fault the airport for their asthma. There has been no proof of the assertion that 100LL avgas is responsible for lead poisoning regarding Pacoima residents, or even anybody nationwide.  Community input substantiated that unleaded avgas distribution would be available soon, and Ms. Alderson from Vista Aviation revealed that she has already purchased the permits necessary (STCs) to use it in their aircraft. It was also pointed out that the aviation future will also include electric aircraft.

Pacoima Beautiful states that per a study in 2009, lead was found at Whiteman Airport. They don’t however tout that per the same EPA study, lead in greater quantities was found at a local freeway location.

Nor does Pacoima Beautiful request banning dairy products and certain meats as it is estimated that cattle are responsible for 220 trillion pounds of methane a year. They do via their motion suggest banning 100LL avgas, which would result in a tremendous safety risk, and a similar action is already credited as a contributing factor for a fatal accident.

Nor is there any criticism of the large volume of semi-trucks that travel on busy San Fernando Road just parallel to the Whiteman runway. On the scale of vehicle polluters semis rank very high. By contrast, although the perception might be that airplanes are large polluters, the opposite is true.

Regarding safety risk, the third pillar used to support airport closure, because the pilot of an accident airplane suffering from engine trouble, rather than making a safe preemptive landing as is instructed, the pilot tried to reach the runway, and was unsuccessful. Consequently, the airport is being blamed for what was a pilotage error, and the airport has become an innocent victim of less-than-accurate information.  Blaming the airport is like blaming a gas station located down the block that the car with no gas is trying to coast to, but has an accident prior to getting to the station because of restricted steering and braking.

The fact is there have been no fatalities suffered on the ground from Whiteman Air traffic, and that vehicular traffic accidents and their associated deaths in number make flight accidents look like a pea-sized dot when compared to each other. Yet, no one is touting the idea of closing San Fernando Road, or any of the local freeways for safety study projects.

Attendees at this final meeting were presented by certain CAC members inaccurate information.

Rocio Hernandez, district director L A Council member Monica Rodriquez stated that: “Whiteman Airport operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with little regulation or oversight. There are other nearby airports like Van Nuys which was referenced today and Burbank airport which both have operational limitations. They do not operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week.”

It should be noted that all public airports operate with a tremendous number of regulatory requirements and oversight. A glance at Title 14 of the code of Federal Regulations will quickly confirm that, in addition to Title 14 CFR, there are state, county, local, and airport management regulations. Also, it should be noted that both Van Nuys Airport and Burbank operate 24/7.

Furthermore, during the meeting Chief Gaylor described the emergency services that are at the Whiteman firebase. In addition, the CAP during past meetings has been referred to, and they too provide emergency services.

Yet Ms. Hernandez stated, “that there has been no clear understanding of what, if any, emergency operations are taking place within the airport.” Visual evidence is easily seen from the main entrance parking lot of the clearly marked CAP building, and from the driveway of the sizeable Firebase.

Ms. Hernandez also “wanted to stress that the income is generated within the airport must stay within the airport boundaries, um, the airport cannot even repair a sidewalk adjacent to the property’s boundaries.”  She did not mention that the airport belongs to L A County, and apparently, she feels L A County should shoulder L A City’s responsibilities.

Ms. Hernandez feels that “our families do rely on vehicles and trains out of necessity and not a luxury.”

The point that some make is that though the airport offers emergency services, community services, and College opportunities as well, plus other options, those parameters per Ms. Hernandez are luxuries.

Contradictions with some details arose during the CAC pursuit, but they didn’t influence the primary messaging. Veronica Padilla-Campos CEO of Pacoima Beautiful stated her position that federal money should not be accessed due to grant strings attached to pay for her very long laundry list of grievances needing mediation.  Rather, LA County should pay for the city resident’s improvements.  She stated, “I don’t trust the County.”  Further, she reiterated that “there is no ulterior motion. There is no developer behind this motion. There is nothing like that.” In her motion, she advocates expanding the number of aviation commissioners. She advocates adding commissioners who have no aviation experience.

Yvonne E. Mariajimenez – Neighborhood Legal Services contributed that federal funds are available to address community grievances on noise and pollution.  When the noise study results were released a few meetings ago she seemed disappointed that more noise was not present. She suggested the study be done again.  She expressed that as Mr. Arias inferred, emergency services could exist without the airport, contradicting the message that Chief Gaylor delivered.

Ms. Penny Alderson presented some evidence that there might be a relationship  between Pacoima Beautiful and developers via a connection wherein during a directed student study Pacoima Beautiful was referred to as the client.  Ms. Padilla-Campos denied that, and LACDPW moderator Jessica Padilla-Bowen suggested that they move on. A community caller asserted that there was a connection between Pacoima Beautiful and Aquaria Funding Solutions. In prior meetings, Ms. Padilla-Campos referred to already drawn plans she wanted to introduce depicting the real estate development of Whiteman Airport, though Jessica Padilla-Bowen from LACDPW did not allow them into the discussion stating the charge was to keep the airport open.

Both Ms. Padilla-Campos and Ms. Mariajimenez voted for closure.

Ms. Heron Molina, Council District 7 (Monica Rodriquez) office – stated that “the airport has not done anything to engage the community.” There is overwhelming evidence that this has not been the case, and I personally can attest that the FAA Safety Team Free Pilot Safety seminars held for years at Whiteman Airport sometimes weekly, not only posted community notice online but notice of each event was emailed to over 4,500 area residents.

CAC member Mr. Charles Nelson voted both for a motion to close the airport and for a motion to keep it open.

Three motions were submitted. One by Chares Nelson, Pacoima Neighborhood Watch, One by Veronica Padilla-Campos, and One by Penny Alderson Vista Aviation/Vista Air.

Mr. Nelson’s motion was in favor of keeping the airport open and satisfying a short list of neighborhood grievances. There was not a second for his motion. See the motion here.

Ms. Veronica Padilla-Campos’ motion was to close the airport and included a very long list of items for City residents that the County should pay for, and then subsequently close the airport. Included in her list is a provision calling for the possible return of County land to the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians.  This provision evokes troublesome thoughts, not because of the proposed action itself, but because the president of that group also sits on the CAC panel as a voting member, and should the Supervisors accept this motion in full, his band of Mission Indians would stand to financially benefit.  See the motion here.

Ms. Penny Alderson’s motion was to continue to keep the airport open, continue to explore community airport relationships, and the mitigation of a long list of grievances that represent many of same issues that have been raised by those with concerns and have expressed an interest in closing the airport.  See the motion here.

In summary, there was a year and a half of meetings inspired by one aircraft accident years ago that was not the fault of any Whiteman Airport operation that was used as the fuel for a community panel to be formed via a motion from Former L A County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and the inspiration of City Councilwomen Monica Rodriquez whose background includes being an executive for the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) where she was responsible for the administration of a multi-million dollar workforce housing trust fund, and the inspiration of Pacoima Beautiful, whose former CEO recently disgraced Nury Martinez, then City Council President, endorsed Ms. Rodriquez for a council seat.

At the end of the 18-month voyage, there was no health study initiated or completed, there was a noise study that showed that out of the many thousands of homes, only 335 would possibly qualify for noise mitigation.

It should be recognized that community input alleged that the participants were hand-picked to predetermine the concluding results, and that some were placing politics over real community interest, not only by selecting those with a preferred bias, but also by selecting some that may not have the ability to properly commit to the CAC obligation over an extended period.

Supporting this notion is the fact that City Councilwoman Monica Rodriquez is represented directly via two members empaneled from her office.  Pacoima Beautiful is represented, and two members were initially chosen from Supervisor Kuehl’s office (one remained to date, but abstained from voting – hence, lending more weight to those who did vote). One member from Neighborhood legal services of L A County, a private company, that seemingly marched in lockstep with Pacoima Beautiful was appointed, as were two members from the Pacoima Chamber of Commerce. Then there was the appointment of some that might not be in a sustainable position to commit to the CAC effort.

Regarding the circumstance created when a motion was moved forward that would potentially financially benefit Voting CAC member Rudy Ortega, SCAUWG.ORG notified LACDPW of the appearance of impropriety, and that Mr. Ortega should possibly be directed to recuse himself from voting. No mention of a possible conflict of interest was mentioned during the evening.

Of the CAC members who were qualified to vote four were not present. Mikayeel Khan, Pacoima Neighborhood Council, Jasmine Tuyet Le, student representative, Michelle Rogel, community volunteer, and Eduardo (Eddie) Gonzales, Pacoima Chamber of Commerce, were not present.

The vote went as follows:

Motion #3                                                              Motion #4

Maria Chong-Castillo        Abstained                                                 Abstained

Rocio Hernandez                  YES                                                                 NO

John Hernandez                    YES                                                                 NO

Bobby Arias                            YES                                                                 NO

Veronica Padilla-Campos     YES                                                                 NO

Yvonne E. Masriajimenez     YES                                                                 NO

Rudy Ortega                            YES                                                                 NO

Charles Nelson                        YES                                                                 YES

Heron Molina                          Abstained                                                      NO

Jeanne Fenimore                    NO                                                                  YES

Penny Alderson                       NO                                                                  YES

Robert Gaylor                          NO                                                                  YES

SCAUWG.ORG wants to compliment Fire Chief Robert Gaylor for his professionalism. He spoke with pertinent direction and addressed real Air Traffic Control issues, and he spoke with skillful diligence and expertise illustrating the needs of not only the Pacoima community but also his responsibility to serve an entire area with life-saving emergency service. He rose above any political challenge that some might have fallen prey to and spoke with collegian detail making the point that those who opposed the airport were not holding other Pacoima businesses to the same standards that the airport was being criticized for not meeting. Chief Robert Gaylor is a hero.

SCAUWG.ORG also wants to commend Penny Alderson. Ms. Alderson from Vista Aviation and Vista Air truly reached across the aisle and incorporated mature realistic ideas whilst recognizing the outstanding critical comments from those who were most vocal and critical not only of the airport but also of the LA County Dept. of Public Works and L A County who allowed this process to go forward at great expense and allowed the City Council to seemingly subjugate its interests. Ms. Alderson’s motion proves that community consciousness and community benefit was never the goal of those who came to the conference with development plans already loaded, and with their eyes focused elsewhere, as with genuine commitment, she demonstrated that there were unusually good actors sitting with patience at the table.

The L A County of Public Works spent untold hours of commitment and shouldered the extensive costs necessary to produce these in-person and online events. It seemed apparent that they reached for and maintained the highest level of complimentary community procedures.  If there is a criticism of the process pursued, it would be that there was not enough attention given to maintaining the charge. It is possible that while trying to be polite these sessions were too often filled with “keep it open” or “close it” arguments. Additionally, CAC positions were not often challenged with opposing views or fact-checked for accuracy.

It certainly appeared that the LACDPW went the extra mile and allowed City Councilmember Monica Rodriquez to offer her anti-airport thesis and her claim of no immediate benefit from the airport for the community. Her appearance as a keynote speaker and not allowing for equal time for a pro-airport speaker at the top of last month’s meeting, which was intended to be the last meeting, was not an occurrence worthy of a salute.

With an understanding of the Brown Act, absent that critical analysis what sometimes appeared to be scripted language that may not have been truthful, or responsive to previous comments was allowed to prevail, instead of being scrutinized and creatively legally addressed.

A closing comment made by one community caller was that CAC panel bias should have been published. SCAUWG.ORG long ago called for those who might potentially benefit, and/or those who have related interests that would benefit from an airport closure to disclose that data much like lobbyists are required to do. I requested that the subject be put on the agenda. It wasn’t.

SCAUWG.ORG is not the only observer to notice that “issue cleansing” may not inspire some to award the blue ribbon that everyone who had hoped to applaud the LACDPW effort wanted to award.

It appears the real winners are those that can read between the lines and become enraged at the unfortunate weaknesses present in the world’s best democratic system. By staying alert perhaps our democracy will be better defended.

The real losers are the residents of the Pacoima community that believe that an important piece of infrastructure, an airport designated as a “reliever” airport necessary for the benefit of the National Airspace System (NAS), and one that serves the greater good for so many L A Basin residents were pitched the notion that only rich people benefit from an airport and that because it is located in neighborhood folks chose to reside in, that airport should benefit them alone. Instead of looking at the immediate benefits realistically, and those that will flourish in the future, those that are short-sighted and believe the interests that are most willing to disguise their efforts to work against the very people they claim to defend, will be faced with a sad and unhappy lesson.

The fact is, should the developers win, should the airport close, should the position that CAC member Rudy Ortega voiced at the meeting occur and “luxury” housing be brought to the land which was once the airport, the area will truly become as one caller referred to; the now present, overbuilt, traffic engulfed area, where once Hughes airport was.

And what will be the result of a similar gentrification movement coming to Pacoima? Every low-income resident that now rents will be forced to move from their homes due to landlords raising their rents, or even tearing down the older residences with possibly soundproofed windows, and erecting new taller buildings, now not subject to obstruction clearance limitations that the FAA instrument approach and departure routes once mandated.

Pro KWHP Comment addressed to LA County Dept of Public Works

To: LA County Dept. of Public Works:   Regarding the KWHP CAC January CAC meeting billed as the FINAL CAC Meeting, but because of length was planned to be continued on February 23, 2023

The subject of the meeting was a County Airport. It was produced by the County for County purposes.

Nevertheless, the County has seemingly acquiesced much of its sovereignty to the LA City Council which has demonstrated via rhetoric it desires to protect the very individuals that they have by their zoning rules have endangered, via allowing real estate development up to the very edges of the airport.

This could not have been more clearly the case as was witnessed during the January CAC meeting when a possibly biased City Councilwoman Monica Rodriquez, who openly demands that her district voices be heard, but in clear defiance to those voices and the approximate four to one pro-airport sentiment (per petition representation), one should have an open mind and she should act against the County airport, was allowed to be the opening narrative as a keynote speaker, openly stating alleged false statements of fact regarding the airport’s lack of immediate benefit to the community.

I am offering the suggestion that in retrospect, her appearance as an opening salvo was inappropriate, and I am further representing that like public news outlets afford equal time for opposing views, the same procedure might have been appropriate for LACPW to have explored. Failing that, the anti-airport argument was unfairly advantaged, and the County was seen as far too subservient to the LA City Council.

It might be noted that if the LA City Council was all that motivated to provide affordable housing and associated green spaces as some have suggested as appropriate to replace KWHP, then the LA City Council probably should not have voted just recently ten to one to allow a real estate developer to build what will be an expensive hotel for patrons on currently uninhabited city land, as opposed to affordable housing and green spaces.

In Whiteman Airport’s case, the LA City Council’s decision for closing the airport in favor of the allegedly false narrative of possibly enhancing the values of the surrounding land via development and the need for green spaces is easier, as it is County land they are attacking and not that of their own.

I am suggesting that an appropriate pro-airport advocate be given an equal opportunity keynote speaker position at the February CAC meeting.

With sincere respect,

Ron
——————————–
Ron Berinstein CFII

PERMITS (STCs) ALLOWING PILOTS TO USE UNLEADED FUEL AVAILABLE NOW!

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) needed for spark-ignited piston engines in the General Aviation fleet to be used with unleaded fuel is now available for purchase!

General Aviation Modifications Inc. (GAMI) has officially begun selling supplemental type certificates (STCs) for its G100UL 100-octane unleaded avgas. – “GAMI is excited to announce the opening of its online G100UL STC store,” the company said. “All gasoline-powered airplanes and engines in the FAA’s type certificate database are covered by the STCs for G100UL, which is the first and only FAA-certified, totally lead-free, high-octane avgas.” GAMI Website here.

The Goal: GAMI says it is looking to have the fuel available in California by mid-2023.

Background: The aviation industry has been desirous of unleaded fuel for many decades. 100LL itself was introduced over 50 years ago and has been the only fuel in the country for piston-powered aircraft that could assure safe operation for those needing that octane rating. The FAA and the Aviation Industry can now celebrate the now-achievable scientific result. Fuel distribution, the next challenge, is already being addressed.

MORE NEWS ALL THE TIME: FAA Granted Universal Hydrogen Approval To Test Fuel-Cell-Powered Aircraft – Plus, electric vertical and conventional flight (eVtol and eCtol) aircraft developers are being funded by big business interests assuring us that electric air taxi operation soon is a reality.

Our current So Cal airport system will be unable to supply the demand for air travel by 2050. (Reference: Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). Reliever airports and improved airport transportation access systems will be essential. SCAG Website Here.

Airports like Whiteman, Camarillo, Oxnard, Van Nuys, Redlands, and Santa Monica, will help to assure their surrounding neighborhoods of economic growth and a source of employment, but also of the associated community services provided, and the essential part that they can play in the next phase of our transportation system.

SCAUWG.ORG is dedicated to Safe Airspace Development and Aviation Education.
You can experience our site devoted to Airspace & Aviation Safety at www.scauwg.org

10,000th Free Airplane Flight for Kids

For those who desire to search toward the sky for success, this story should serve as an inspiration and a testament that helps to prove Whiteman is a valuable community asset that needs to stay nurtured, polished, and kept shiny like any other prized jewel.

10,000th Free Airplane Flight for Kids – to be Celebrated on November 26th at Whiteman Airport

The 10,000th young person is to get a free “Young Eagles” airplane ride from the pilots of Chapter 40 of the Experimental Aircraft Association based at Whiteman Airport will be on Saturday, November 26, 2022.

There should be about 75-85 flights provided on that day to kids between 8 through 17. All kids are invited to discover the gift of flight, and the rides are entirely paid for by the pilots.

The “Young Eagles” is an EAA National Program, and Chapter 40 has been providing these complimentary introductory flight experiences on the 4th Saturday of every month at San Fernando Valley’s Whiteman Airport since 1992 (except on Christmas Day or Eve). Young Eagle events start at 10:30 a.m. and run to about 2:00 p.m.

EAA Chapter 40 is arranging a VERY special flight for the lucky youngster. Details will be forthcoming.

Caveat: we will not fly if the weather that day is not safe. The alternate date if that happens will be Dec 17.

For More Information about this story, I invite those who decide to build rather than tear down to contact Dave Kolstad – Chapter 40 Young Eagles Coordinator – D_kolstad@yahoo.com YoungEaglesDay.org

WHITEMAN AIRPORT OPPOSITION GROUPS NEED A BETTER CRYSTAL BALL!

WHITEMAN OPPOSITION GROUPS NEED A BETTER CRYSTAL BALL!

LOS ANGELES, CA – Whiteman Airport is the key to Pacoima’s economic future. Some of the airport closure advocates present during CAC presentations say that they want representation and justice for a neighborhood that deserves better. For them, closing a valuable enterprise that provides jobs, education, and community services, in the Pacoima area is their answer. Recently their airport noise concerns were not substantiated by the now-concluded study.  The future is greater than presently addressed and has been ignored. Whiteman airport may be the most important gateway to the next generation of neighborhood development.

Washington, DC, Oct. 18, 2022 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) welcomed President Biden’s signing into law this week of the Advance Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act, which will promote policies, procedures, and programs to support the integration of this emerging aviation sector into America’s transportation infrastructure.

Advanced air mobility (AAM) is an air transportation system that moves people and property by air between places using electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, in local, regional, intraregional, rural, and urban environments.

AAM utilizes aircraft ranging in size from single-passenger vehicles to large shuttles to make cities, underserved communities and geographically distant regions more accessible.” – Dan Hubbard, NBAA

NASA, Major Airlines, our Armed Forces, and big business have invested millions of dollars toward this next-generation air travel potential. Contracts and plans for eCTOLs and thousands of eVTOLs are inked and scheduled. Private industry and government planning agencies are in motion. The question is, do the organizations that feel Pacoima deserves better, also feel that they deserve to be left behind? Should Pacoima erase the already existing Whiteman Airport pathway to the future that will allow their neighborhood to join with the rest of LA, and participate in the transportation and blossoming economic future?

Those that don’t recognize the onset of the sustainable transportation era, and the support for and the benefits of future economic development need to seriously consider shopping for a new crystal ball.

Recommended reading might include this Aviation Today Magazine article focused on developments at the recent NBAA-BACE convention. Panelists at NBAA Discuss Certification and Infrastructure for Advanced Air Mobility – Avionics International (aviationtoday.com)  –  To find out more you are invited to join us at www.scauwg.org

New Data, A New Time – Whiteman Airport Shouldn’t be Under Siege!

LOS ANGELES, CA – Whiteman Noise Study Revealed – A New Perspective – An Open Letter to Elected Officials
“Whether we are a father or a friend or a community leader, we need to make sure that we are impeccable with our words and that we constantly be mindful of what we say and always try to be loving and caring with everything that we say,” Congressman Tony Cardenas
“City Hall hits a New Low. Is this a Turning Point?”  LA Times.

SCAUWG.ORG, the aviation safety website operated on behalf of the Southern California Airspace Users Working Group, is issuing this open letter to Los Angeles Council Members and to Congressman Cardenas and asks that they should no longer be moved in the direction City Council previously determined regarding Whiteman Airport.

Whiteman Air Park was established in 1946, and purchased by LA County in 1970. City zoning has allowed building residences and businesses right up to the airport boundaries. Ironically, the LA County owned airport is blamed by city closure supporters for it’s proximity to residents. Now is the time for unity, not division in Los Angeles, now is the time for real community service, for community resident support, and not community misrepresentation, or political jockeying. Now is the time to take advantage of the local airport already in place, to reap it’s obvious benefits, and to plan future enhancements that will multiply it’s value for the neighborhood.

The recent Whiteman noise study results appeared to disappoint two vocal community organizers that promote airport closure. One, who has been aided by a City Councilwoman with a real estate background, already has plans rendered for airport closure and land development. SCAUWG.ORG wonders if implementing those plans might promote future area gentrification, and as a result, force current residents from their homes.

The second closure advocate initially called for the expensive noise study to be done again after hearing that there is no real noise to hear!  The result as reported: Out of over 17000 Pacoima residential units, only 335 (less than 2%) are qualified for noise relief services under the part 150 process.

Additionally, the railroad noise from the tracks that closely parallel Whiteman’s runway, and train whistles (both appear much louder than the aircraft) were not requested to be evaluated, and neither was a study evaluating noise resulting from busy San Fernando Road which parallels the runway. Nor were any noise restrictions upon rail and road traffic requested at the recent Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting when the noise study results were announced, but a nighttime curfew was proposed by closure advocates for the airport, who were dismayed when the consulting firm expert revealed data that indicated only a voluntary curfew might be feasible.

Now those who may be biased against the airport whilst purporting to represent the local residents have a possibly uncomfortable choice to make. They can either support pursuing the Part 150 soundproofing for those units located very close to the airport that experience a sound level a little over the acceptable 65 Db, or they can choose to not pursue the relief, pursue closing the airport, and leave the current residents subjected to the noise that the anti-airport advocates have complained about for years, as Whiteman cannot be closed any time soon due to the County’s previous acceptance of Federal Airport Improvement Grants.

Closure advocates may be disappointed on the pollution front as well! Not only are aircraft LESSOR POLLUTERS than San Fernando Rd Diesel trucks right now (EPA 2007- citing more lead is located near freeways than at KWHP), a fact not accented by those who refer to that report, but GAMI 100 Octane UNLEADED fuel (Just FAA approved) is being looked into for KWHP. That fuel would replace the 100 Low Lead fuel currently in place, hence, it is possible that within a reasonable time period there may be no lead argument at all that those who claim pollution can advocate.

Finally, airport operators do not cause accidents. Think of a car low on gas with the driver knowing that there is a gas station a few blocks ahead. The driver continues toward the gas station, but the car runs out of fuel and slows. The car then gets hit by a vehicle following behind it.  Does anyone conclude that the gas station should be closed?  However, that is essentially the argument critics point to who accuse Whiteman Airport as a threat instead of a refuge, because a pilot experiencing mechanical difficulties in 2020, tried to reach Whiteman Airport, but failed to do so.

To our elected officials: SCAUWG.ORG is hopeful that you will be able to review your positions regarding Whiteman. Include Pacoima and Whiteman Airport in the healing process, and work together, not for personal interest, but for community interest.

The “privileged few” (those closure advocates criticize for having an aircraft at KWHP) are really those that live within easy airport access and take advantage of the community perks the airport offers. EAA Chapter 40 even invites area youth to help build an airplane that they will fly when completed! They offer free flying for youth monthly as well! The EAA Young Eagles program has flown over 9000 free flights at Whiteman.

These examples do not even begin to touch upon the KWHP Air Explorers program, Glendale Community College’s aviation program, the local jobs, aviation training and the GA flight community, the search and rescue facilities, the firefighting headquarters, the police activity facilitated, the public press helicopter support, the financial benefit for area businesses, plus the monthly free aviation safety programs sponsored by the FAA Safety FAASTeam, and more.

To find out more about aviation safety and airspace education, you are invited to join us at www.scauwg.org
To listen to the recent noise study report, you can access it at https://www.reenvisionwhitemanairport.com/resources

OFFICIAL Answers about Airspace from the Professionals!

Do you have a question that needs an official answer written by Southern California Airspace Experts? SCAUWG and/or our associated partners will answer your airspace oriented question.

This post actively solicits questions that you would like an official answers for that are endorsed by SCUAWG and/or our associated partners that together provide an almost unlimited amount of aviation information resources to the fore.

Please understand that your answers may be discussed and determined by the Southern California Airspace Users Working Group as a whole, prior to any being greenlighted for publication here on SCAUWG.ORG.

This is your opportunity to ask away!

Drones in the Pattern*

“Drones in the Pattern  –  only 7% utilize LAANC

SAFE is alerting its members to a study by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Daytona Beach FL. That study found that “the vast majority” of drones in the vicinity of the DAB airport did not have FAA approval to be there. Currently in the United States, there are more than 1.4 million registered, and likely many more unregistered drones, and they continue to proliferate.

According to the study, only seven percent of the 271 drones detected during the experiment at DAB had used the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) to get permission to penetrate the airspace. In addition, more than one-third of the devices exceeded 500′ AGL, with three ascending above 1,500′ AGL.

“Those cover all the usual altitudes used by CFIs doing patterns or ground reference maneuvers,” said Executive Director David St George. “The FAA’s LAANC approval system for commercial and recreational drone flights had been predicted to reduce non-compliant UAS operations by at least a third within six months, but this service needs more aggressive promotion in the UAS community.”

Previous studies have shown that revealed that pilots approaching a runway usually can’t see drones encroaching on their airspace, especially if those drones are hovering.

The study will boost the FAA’s recent proposal to require Remote Identification — electronic tracking devices on drones, similar to the ADS-B tracking technology now mandatory on manned aircraft in certain airspace.

The study was published in the International Journal of Aviation, Aeronautics, and Aerospace (IJAAA). It was co-authored by Wallace, Robbins, James K. Holliman, Don S. Metscher, and Taylor R. Rogers at Embry-Riddle, in collaboration with Jon M. Loffi at Oklahoma State University.”

* The above post is reprinted from SAFE Blog June 2020 – the entire SAFE Blog can be read on our Commentary Page Section at SCAUWG.ORG. Click or Tap Here.

SCAUWG.ORG invites YOUR COMMENT.

Your Comment and Ideas Wanted

3/27 Washington Withdraws From FAA Nomination - HERE    2 pilots killed in Riverside County crash helped snowed-in San Bernardino mountain residents - email req. - here    3/25 Senators Propose Raising Pilot Retirement Age To 67 - HERE    3/24 Chief Inspector Helinet JOB Opening - Details    3/24 Senate Commerce Committee Approves NOTAM Improvement Act - HERE     3/22 Purdue University Airport Will Host ‘Lab To Life’ Private 5G Test Platform HERE    3/17 AOPA FIGHTS BACK ON WASHINGTON STATE BILL BANNING 100LL SALES - HERE    13/17 Innoflight CEO Says Northrop Contract Represents “More Agile Approach To Space” - HERE    3/15 ‘Uptick’ in aviation incidents; FAA reviewing ‘serious close calls’ HERE     3/10 Funding for GA gains traction on Capitol Hill - HERE    3/13 Lawmakers Stress Support for Investing in General Aviation HERE    3/09 Calif. airport planning sustainable future - HERE    3/08 AOPA High School STEM Program Earns FAA Grant - HERE    3/08 Lithium Battery Fires On Airliners Average More Than One Per Week - HERE    3/07 House Aviation Subcommittee Will Address GA In FAA Reauthorization Bill - HERE    3/5 Volunteers needed S.B. Mountain Relief - Contact CalDart.org    3/5 US Army chooses 5 companies to compete for Army’s future tactical UAS - HERE    3/3 Currently, IACRA is offline and should be returning to service soon. - HERE     3/1 SAF Made From Air Could Be a Game Changer for Aviation -HERE    3/1 Wings Air Helicopters To Begin NYC Commuter Service -HERE    2/28 Biden-Harris Administration Announces Nearly $1B in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Airport Funding Awarded to Meet Surging Air Travel Demand - HERE    2/28 GAMA Chief Criticizes FAA-Santa Clara MoU - HERE    2/27 Regional Jet Aborts Landing To Avoid Departing Flight At Burbank - HERE    2/25 U.S. Coast Guard helicopter cliff rescue training at Point Vicente Lighthouse --- Feb 27/Mar 3    2/23 The KWHP CAC Panel ignored the community opinion and voted to close - HERE    2/22 Crewed Flying Race Car Debuts in Australia - HERE    2/21 Biden Makes Unprecedented Surprise Trip To Ukraine - HERE    2/17 U.S. House Passes Bill to Improve NOTAM System - HERE    2/16 FAA Studying Unleaded Avgas Transition - SANTA CLARA - HERE    2/16 Runway Incident In Hawaii; FAA To Hold Safety Summit In March - HERE    2/15 LAS VEGAS H REID INT CONSTRUCTION DATES - SEE: AIRPORTS - HERE    2/15 First electric air taxi takes flight around New York City - HERE    2/13 Continental 360-, 470-, 520-, and 550-series engines - INSPECTION ALERT - HERE    2/08 Pentagon: ‘100% Clear’ China Balloon Was Military Craft - HERE    2/8 FAA Grants Universal Hydrogen Approval To Test Fuel-Cell-Powered Aircraft - HERE    2/7 Washington Bill Seeks Statewide Ban of 100LL - HERE    2/03 GAMI Begins G100UL STC Sales (Corrected) - HERE     2/1 Local airports panel pressured to oppose leaded avgas - HERE    2/1 Flytrex Granted FAA Approval for Long-Range Commercial Drone Deliveries - HERE    2/01 GAO Urges FAA To Develop Proper Drone Integration Plan - HERE    1/27 KWHP's 1/26 CAC MTG CONTINUED TO 2/23 - 2 TABLED MOTIONS (STAY OPEN W/CONDITIONS - CLOSE AND HAVE COUNTY PAY FOR IMPROVEMENTS W/NO FED FAA FUNDS)    1/24 Sta Monica City Council voted to start the process of planning to convert the airport land at hearing,    1/22 FAA extends aircraft registration to seven years Jan. 23! - HERE

The Southern California Airspace Users Working Group - SCAUWG - Wants your COMMENTS and IDEAS!

As aviators and aviation enthusiasts that utilize the Southern California Airspace you probably have concerns.  You probably have formulated some ideas that might make the airspace safer, or possibly some ideas about how best to navigate the area.  Perhaps you have a suggestion regarding how charting the airspace can be improved?

SCAUWG has traditionally tried to be the eyes and ears of the So Cal airspace professional.  SCAUWG is tasked with providing insight to the FAA regarding airspace safety improvements and SCAUWG is additionally tasked to act as a source of educational content meant to aid the aerospace community so that flight safety can be enhanced.

We at SCAUWG believe that the LA Basin airspace may be as complex, indeed probably more complex as any in the world.  Visitors arrive here from all corners of the globe.  Reminding ourselves that there is little in this busy space that remains static is important.  Ever changing technology and diverse methods of flight are just some of the ingredients that make our airspace truly dynamic.  Even the current health concerns we share influence the NAS.

It would probably be easy to rest upon our laurels.  But that is not enough!  Great results happen when great minds collaborate, and we desire Great Results!

So, please contribute, please be part of the solution that as airspace professionals we can be proud of.  Leave your comments, ideas and suggestions below.  There may be a short delay before making submitted comments visible.

PLEASE NOTE:   Posts are designed to elicit COMMENT from WEBSITE VISITORS so that same can both inspire a virtual community information exchange, and possibly encourage further discussion amongst SCAUWG members.  ALL POSTED REPLYs and COMMENTs should be interpreted as those that REPRESENT THE AUTHOR alone, and NOT SCAUWG, or SCAUWG.ORG.

Please Choose from the RECENT POSTS box below the Post You Would Like To Read and Maybe Reply To.  - Thanks!

 

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