Airport Noise, Pollution Decisions up for discussion December 14

Please mark your calendars if you haven’t already: The Torrance City Council’s Transportation Committee will meet this Wednesday, December 14th 2022, at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 3031 Torrance Blvd. Even if you prefer not to speak, your presence will help to keep the pressure on. This is the link to the agenda:

Please plan on also sending an email. Even if you are speaking, your time will be limited, but the length of your email is your choice. We don’t know whether Chair Aurelio Mattucci will give speakers one or two minutes. The other two Transportation Committee members are Bridgett Lewis and Jon Kaji.

Send your email to the following:,

In the subject line, write “Dec. 14 Airport Committee Meeting.” In the text of the email, address it to the three committee members. Even though the other four Councilmembers aren’t part of the committee, we want them to know what we are thinking because, in the end, they will be making all the final decisions in case the committee submits a flawed report.

Earlier, we asked you to talk about the airport’s negative impact on your lives. We won that argument. Now we have to keep the Council on track to effectively end the issues that we are having.

The No. 1 point that we need to focus on: Enforce the Municipal Code for all flights. Reportedly, the City has started enforcing it for non-flight-training flights, but has allowed the pilot schools to not follow the code. That needs to stop.

The following is an assessment from our leadership team Co-Chair Richard Root. It has material that you should feel free to use in your comments:

The agenda item states the Committee will Discuss Options for Landing Fees and Reduction of Aircraft Operations at Torrance Municipal Airport and specifically:

  • 1) Reducing allowable flights by restricting training flights and prohibiting flights from outside agencies;
  • 2) Limiting or prohibiting use of the south runway; and
  • 3) Changing flight school training hours by amending the Torrance Municipal Code (TMC).

These measures would be steps in the right direction, but they don’t go far enough and they would require amending the Municipal Code to establish new laws. This is something federal law may not permit. Doing so could jeopardize the City’s ability to enforce its long-standing grandfathered Code provisions.

To adequately address the problems, in addition to or in place of the above, the City should also consider the following options:

1.     Enforce No-Left-Turn law for all planes that turn left under 1,500 feet, including training in south pattern, as currently provided in the City’s Code.

2.    Close and remove the south runway, which would permanently reduce early left turns over rising terrain south of the airport and limit the airport’s overall capacity for operations.

3.    Apply landing fees to all users, including aircraft based at the airport. The City may be precluded legally from adopting landing fees for noise abatement, especially if they discriminate between based and transient aircraft. Instead, the fees should be for revenue generation and applied to all users, including aircraft based at the airport.

4.    Renegotiate leases and permits to condition them on compliance with all City noise abatement requirements and recommendations. Failure to comply should be grounds for termination of the lease/permit, if legally permissible.

5    Deny leases or permits to flight training schools. Do not approve any future permits and leases, and do not renew any existing permits and leases. In the meantime, recommend that pilots training in north pattern remain over commercial/industrial areas, not residential areas north of 235th Street.

6.    Add noise monitors to fill gaps between monitors on the west and east sides of the airport for more effective enforcement of the City’s existing Code.

Noise monitors at Zamperini field

7.    Enforce noise violations according to existing grandfathered TMC Section 51.7.3 and immediately ban any aircraft after its third noise violation, instead of taking them to prolonged hearing boards.

8.    Amend the Code to add progressive monetary fines for the first and second violations, instead of only sending a written Notice of Violation. (Only if legally permissible without jeopardizing the City’s grandfathered laws.)

9.    Ban the sale of leaded fuel at the airport within the next year to help stop the spread of lead over homes, schools, and throughout the entire community. 

The City should consider all of the above options. It will take multiple combined actions to permanently resolve all the problems and federal law may prevent the City from implementing some of the above actions. If so, the problem may not be resolved. In that case, the City should consider closing and reopening as a private airport with legal authority to adopt its own noise abatement laws not pre-empted by federal law.

Questions or comments may also be directed to

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