LAX Aircraft Overflights: Noise Information and Resources

airplane in sky.jpeg

Welcome to Culver City’s LAX Overflights/Noise information page.

On this page, the City will post the latest information, public notices, documents, related links and other information related to noise from LAX aircraft overflights.

Sign Up For Aircraft Noise Notifications from LAX

The LAX Noise Management webpage offers a new feature allowing individuals in the community to sign up to receive email notifications regarding aircraft flight activity and other aircraft noise-related information. This is part of their effort to keep LAX neighbors informed and to promote public awareness and understanding of aircraft noise issues.

Federal Aviation Administration's Next Generation Air Transportation System

Community members have been exposed to increased levels of aircraft noise and air pollution due to the Federal Aviation Administration's NextGen program.  On June 11, 2021, the cities of Los Angeles and Culver City filed a Petition for Review of an Order of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) arguing that the FAA violated the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), the National Historic Preservation Act (“NHPA”), and section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act by issuing three amended flight procedures for aircraft arriving at Los Angeles International Airport without environmental review. [City of Los Angeles, v. Stephen Dickson, et al. against the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA")]

The City's outside legal counsel, Barbara Lichman of Buchalter Law firm states, "On Thursday, July 8, 2021, the City of Culver City and its co-Petitioner, City of Los Angeles, prevailed in this case against the “FAA” on substantially all claims, an almost unprecedented outcome for local governments against a federal agency acting within its area of expertise. In that case, Petitioners challenged FAA’s failure to perform any environmental review, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. § 4321, et seq. (“NEPA”) before implementing changes in aircraft flight tracks that lowered altitudes and consolidated flight tracks over residential areas not previously overflown, resulting in continuing and vociferous community opposition. That challenge was brought in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit under its original jurisdiction, 49 U.S.C. § 46110, in the adjudication of challenges to FAA actions.

Because these operational changes were part of a larger national program of airspace changes called FAA’s NextGen project, aimed at reducing distances aircraft must fly on arrival to airports, Petitioners’ victory has implications for communities throughout the nation over which FAA has persisted in implementing flight track changes under the guise of the NextGen Project, in each and every case without the benefit of required environmental review.

Thus, the Ninth Circuit’s decision in the above case will have benefits not merely for the litigants, but for communities throughout the United States impacted by FAA’s free-wheeling approach to implementation of Next Gen airspace changes. Specifically, as a result of that holding, FAA will have to analyze and disclose potential impacts such as those on noise and air quality, for a proposed operational change, rather than following its current pattern of simply dismissing such changes as “exempt” from environmental review.

In short, the decision in City of Los Angeles v. Stephen Dickson has far-reaching impacts that have not yet begun to be felt. In the short-run, it will assist Petitioners in protecting their citizens from unexpected and potentially impactful environmental intrusions on their daily lives. In the long run, it will influence not only FAA, but also other government agencies, to meet their environmental responsibilities under the law."

The City continues to coordinate with the City of Los Angeles and the FAA to ensure the FAA undertakes the proper NEPA analysis and NHPA and consultation of section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act by issuing three amended flight procedures for aircraft arriving at Los Angeles International Airport.

LAX Runway Closure Updates

Due to the dynamic nature of runway closure activities, LAWA is distributing information regularly to provide the public with up-to-date runway closure schedules at LAX. This information is intended to help promote public awareness and understanding of aircraft noise issues that may temporarily affect residential areas.  Information about LAX's runway closures and flightpath changes are available on LAWA's website.

Los Angeles World Airports Noise Portal for LAX

Los Angeles World Airports' interactive Noise Portal is a neighborhood-focused web application designed to help you easily explore, learn, and gain insight into aircraft flight activities that may affect you and others in your community.

Subscribe to email updates

The City of Culver City invites residents to come to the next LAX/Community Noise RoundtableClick/tap here to view the meeting schedule, agendas, past meeting documents and recordings.

Recent News

Frequently Asked Questions

What resources are available to me? And how do I report overflights and other impacts?

The following resources may provide additional assistance:

  • New LAX Noise Complaint System - As of August 1, 2016, LAWA Noise Management implemented a new noise comment system, provided by PlaneNoise, Inc., to enhance options for the public to submit noise concerns and provide new tools for LAWA staff to better analyze and understand reported issues.
  • LAX Noise Management Website - This site includes noise alerts and links to other resources.
  • Sign up for Aircraft Noise Notifications from LAX - Stay informed of aircraft flight activity and other aircraft noise-related information.
  • LAX Noise Complaint Line: (424) 64-NOISE - LAX staff makes an effort to answer the line when possible. If no one is available, please leave a detailed message.
  • LAX WebTrak Website - The online complaint form may be accessed through the WebTrak Application by clicking on the “complaints” tab located on the top left corner, then the “Complaint Form” button.
  • LAX Community Noise Roundtable Website - The LAX Community Noise Roundtable was created in September 2000 and is intended to reduce and mitigate the adverse noise impacts that users of Los Angeles International Airport create on the surrounding communities. Membership in the Roundtable consists of located officials and staff, representatives of congressional offices, members of community groups, the FAA, the airlines and LAWA management.

Have state and federal elected officials been involved?

Yes, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris as well as Congresswoman Karen Bass have supported Culver City in its ongoing efforts to address noise issues relating to the FAA’s NextGen reconfiguration of the airspace in the Southern California Metroplex. For example, the City sent correspondence to Senators Feinstein and Harris(PDF, 5MB), urging them to support numerous provisions in the FAA Reauthorization Act related to noise. Senators Feinstein and Harris followed up with a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in support of the noise provisions in the FAA Reauthorization Act.

The City also sent letters to Congresswoman Bass in 2015(PDF, 742KB) about LAX Impacts and the FAA Accountability Act. Congresswoman Bass, Representative of the 37th Congressional District of California, has been a strong voice on this ongoing issue that affects the Culver City community as well as other areas of her District.

Why are the flights going over Culver City?

Culver City is in the flight path for landings at LAX, when planes are coming from the North and the West, crossing over certain parts of Santa Monica and other areas of the Westside, flying through Culver City, as the planes head further east before turning around to make their final descent into LAX.

Pictured below is an illustration of flight paths over Culver City:

Actual airline landing at LAX from the North. 
Note the aircraft passes over Santa Monica at about 7000 ft.  Its altitude declines gradually and smoothly on its continuous descent approach.  This standard practice burns less fuel to minimize fuel costs.

Diagram of actual airline landing at LAX from the North with map points.