LAX Runway move: Is it necessary? Share your opinion

As my local readers know, the big question at LAX now centers on the northern-most runway, which airport officials wants to move 260 feet closer to homes and businesses in the nearby community of Westchester.

Airport officials say this is an issue of safety. They say they must increase the separation between the two parallel runways on the north side of the airport so they can build a center taxilane between them. It’s similar to a project that was already completed on the airport’s south side. Airport officials say more runway separation will help cut down on the number of potentially dangerous runway incursions.

Many residents living near LAX say the runway configuration change is not necessary. They say it will create more noise and pollution in their neighborhoods. Some say they airport simply wants to expand, though LAX will be able to build the new runway inside its current footprint.

What do you think? Is this runway configuration change necessary?

I’d especially like to hear from airline pilots in the comments section. Does LAX need more separation and a center taxilane? Why or why not?

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  • Capt. Jeff

    Having flown in and out of LAX many times in the last two decades, I can readily confirm the hazard faced shortly after landing. Slowing the big jet to a safe taxiing speed is demanding enough, but you are faced with holding short of another active runway used for take-offs in a surprisingly short space.

    The added room between runways with the associated parallel taxiway has definitely reduced the high number of runway incursions on the south runway complex. If safety is “Priority One” at LAX, then I’d say most airline pilots would be in favor of doing the same on the north side. I know I am.

  • Harley101ES

    The way LAX is designed there will always be some sort of runway incursions, but with the prosed move of the northern runway a mere 260 feet will greatly reduce the number of incursions incurred within the north complex of the airport. The number of incursions were greatly reduced on the south complex when the runway was moved and a center taxiway was installed. The north complex leaves very little room between the two runways. Landing jets often have to stop short of the departing runway and some jets have very little room between the two. For those that live near LAX and complain of the noise, get over it. The airport has been around longer than almost all of the residents. Do you want to see safety jeopardized, for what you feel should be your peace and quiet enjoyments? How about the loss of life, would that be worth it. When I purchased my home I knew of the noise emitted by LAX and know over time the airport would need to grow. I can say the noise I experience in El Segundo is far cry from my childhood days of growing up under the departing flight path of Nellis Air Force Base. If the nosie bothers you, why did you purchase?

    • briansumers

      Thanks so much for taking the time to respond! You make some good points.

      - Brian