LA Scraps Airport Modernization Plan

The Los Angeles City Council has scrapped an $11 billion plan to modernize Los Angeles International Airport as part of a settlement with neighboring communities that had opposed the project. The council's unanimous vote Wednesday means the city will need to create a new plan to overhaul LAX. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa agreed to abandon the previous plan developed by former Mayor James Hahn. Municipalities including Inglewood, El Segundo, Culver City and Los Angeles County and a citizens group all believed that Hahn understated the impact of renovations on noise, air pollution and traffic. So Villaraigosa is expected to propose a new $4 billion plan, one that will likely cut the most controversial elements of Hahn's plan such as a new passenger check-in center 1-1/2 miles from the airfield. Villaraigosa's plan would include a new terminal and new gates to accommodate the Airbus A-380. It would also limit LAX's capacity to 79.5 million annual passengers by holding gates to no more than 163. The settlement will also allow LAX to begin work on a new runway that safety experts say is key to improving safety. The airport will also spend $266 million to soundproof nearby homes and reduce traffic congestion.

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