So Cal Basin is an epicenter of GA activity
CA DoT and LA County recognize the economic value of aviation to the region
Closing Whiteman Airport is against the State and County policies
AND reduce Safety and Capacity!!!
The Los Angeles City Council, in what appears to be a politically motivated decision, voted to close the Whiteman Airfield (WHP) in the San Fernando Valley community of Pacoima. A well-funded local group has lobbied against this PUBLIC UTILITY which has generated local jobs for almost 7 decades. The group attacks WHP because:
“We’re really trying to bring attention to the [negative] impact this airport is having on our community — both on the standard of living, but also health-wise and the lack of productivity for our community.”
The airport does not depend on Angelenos’ tax dollars
WHP is the home to 600 based airplanes, 21 businesses, 246 employees, aeromedical flights, law enforcement, the Los Angeles County Fire Department Air Operations, a Civil Air Patrol squadron and is the site of frequent firefighting operations (Aerial Fire Fighting Support by U.S. Forest Service, and other support agencies). The airport and the surrounding communities benefit from the estimated $54.5 million in total airport-related (direct, indirect and induced) spending each year.
NOTE: THIS INFORMATION COMES FROM A CITY OF LOS ANGELES SITE!!!
The Los Angeles Basin is one of the busiest airspaces, if not THE, in the US. The number of GA aircraft based in this region exceeds any comparably sized land mass in the world. For these reasons, the County (see above paragraph) and the State recognize the value of the aeronautical economic value of this aerial activity.
The California Department of Transportation in its recent issued plan sees significant growth for this segment of flight
Its analysis of GA airports concluded that the Department should be aggressive advocates as to these infrastructure assets.
The existing technical State and City documents articulate STRONG policies to preserve Whiteman Airport. That record will lay bare in any review (FAA) that the real reasons are politics, developers, not safety or the environment.
Sun, Nov 21, 2021
More Polititcal Nonsense: Whiteman Airport to be Swapped for 184 Acres of Chain Restaurants, Strip Malls, and Premium Housing?
Whiteman Airport, nestled in the heart of the San Fernando Valley of California, is facing its end after a unanimous vote from the Los Angeles city council. A petition has begun in the local area in the hopes that their decision could be forestalled, but like many victims of creeping urban sprawl, the chances are not good that it will remain.
The airport is located on what has over time become a rare open space in the area. Originally made as a small farmer’s air park in 1946 outside of Los Angeles, the surrounding region has become increasingly urbanized with the explosive growth of the state. In the 70’s the airport changed hands to the County of Los Angeles, eventually growing into a well-equipped, lit, paved runway capable of serving turboprop aircraft on its 4,100 foot runway. Like many areas in the west, a once sparse, peaceful location has become congested with new development, suburban projects, and chain restaurants who see the wide open airport space as wasted acreage.
The LA City Council’s 15 members unanimously approved The change is billed as a safety plans to close the airport and open its 184 acres of prime real estate to development, replacing its public utility and job creation with whatever the highest bidder decides. measure for the city, with the airport’s runway described as “substandard” by council personnel. A crash in November of 2020 gave the necessary political fuel needed, according to the local paper, the San Fernando Sun. In January of 2021, they described the council’s reaction to the accident thusly:
“To the credit of the area representative, LA City Councilmember Monica Rodriguez immediately called for the closure of a 75-year-old municipal airport that serves 600 private individuals and provides no ascertainable benefit to the local largely Latino community. Rodriguez went on further in her public statements and legislation to challenge all of us to think bigger and see the airport as an opportunity to bring equity, environmental justice, economic investment, and housing to Pacoima.”
They myopically described the airport as a blight, saying it monopolized the “most developable piece of property in the San Fernando Valley”. The paper believes the land “could be a beating heart for Pacoima residents to live, work, exercise, and enjoy their community, Instead, for nearly 80 years private planes have passed over these Angelenos, dusting them with toxic air and pollution and reminding them that this airport is not for them.”
Like many airport shutdowns, the legal wrangling takes years, and multiple reversals and cancellations are somewhat common. Santa Monica, in a similar situation, ended their battle with an agreement to shutter the facility in 2028. If the county manages to re-assign the land, the deconstruction, demolition, environmental studies, and parceling will take years before any tangible benefit arises for local residents. While many seem to believe a utopian, multi-use live/work zone can be created out of Whiteman’s ruins, money speaks louder to developers, and all parties involved should brace for disappointment.
The Los Angeles County-owned airports, Brackett Field Airport in La Verne, Compton/Woodley Airport in Compton, San Gabriel Valley Airport in El Monte, General William J. Fox Airfield in Lancaster, and Whiteman Airport in Pacoima not only play a vital role within the nation’s integrated system of airports, they are also an integral part of YOUR community, serving the diverse constituents of the County of Los Angeles.
Located in the heart of the San Fernando Valley with access to the I-5, 210, and 118 Freeways, Whiteman Airport facilitates over 80,000 general aviation takeoffs and landings each year. Originally established in 1946 by Marvin E. Whiteman Sr. as a private general aviation airport, the airport, now owned and operated by the County of Los Angeles, is publicly available to general aviation aircraft 24-hours a day seven days a week and is home to over 600 based aircraft and numerous aviation-related businesses.
Whiteman Airport safely and efficiently accommodates a wide range of fixed-wing and rotary-wing general aviation aircraft ranging from small two-seat, single-engine propeller aircraft up to much larger and higher capacity turbo-prop or jet aircraft. Among other features, the airport has an Air Traffic Control Tower operating daily, a single 4,120’ by 75’ runway equipped with runway end identifier lights (REILs), pilot controlled medium-intensity runway lighting (MIRLs) and a precision approach path indicator (PAPIs), full- and self-service fueling services (JetA and 100LL) available around the clock, and advanced weather reporting equipment such as the recently installed state-of-the-art Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS).
Whiteman Airport truly is a great place for pilots to base, operate and/or service their aircraft. Additionally, whether you live in the local area or are visiting the area for business or pleasure and you’d like to learn how to fly, participate in the various events and activities held at the airport throughout the year, or you’d just like to spend some time watching general aviation aircraft in action, you are more than welcome at Whiteman Airport. It’s your airport!
Overall, the airport plays a vital role in the nation’s integrated system of thousands of general aviation airports and is also a valuable asset to the local community, serving the diverse constituents of the City of Pacoima, the San Fernando Valley and the broader County of Los Angeles.
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