A community group is calling for the shutdown of a Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, California. The airport has been largely inactive since it was built and does not serve any significant function to residents.
The “Community Group Calls For Whiteman Airport In Pacoima To Be Shut Down” is a group that has been calling for the closure of a runway at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, California. The group believes that the airport should not be used to transport people because it poses an environmental and health risk.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (CBSLA) – Whiteman Airport in Pacoima has been the site of a series of recent light aircraft disasters, prompting community organizations and local officials to push for its shutdown.
“This is where I reside.” This is where I work. Bobby Arias, one of the numerous Pacoima residents present during the rally to permanently shut the airport’s doors, stated, “We’ve raised our children here.”
READ MORE: A bronze statue of Kobe and Gianna Bryant was unveiled as a one-day memorial at the Calabasas crash site on Wednesday.
(Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Kevork Djansezian)
Residents were joined by Pacoima Beautiful, a non-profit organization, in demanding that Los Angeles County prioritize safety and close Whiteman Airport, which has had a spate of aviation tragedies lately.
In a statement, Veronica Padilla, executive director of Pacoima Beautiful, stated, “We’re here today to say shut down the Whiteman Airport.” “We cannot stay mute and inert while Pacoima residents live near to an airport whose aircraft run on lead-based gasoline and creates a public safety danger due to flights falling into the area,” the statement added. Exposing individuals to unneeded pollutants and risks is not acceptable.”
One of these disasters occurred earlier this month, on Jan. 9, when a tiny aircraft collided with railroad rails and was quickly destroyed by a Metrolink train. Only a few seconds before the train slammed with the wrecked jet, the pilot was rescued by police officers.
A Civil Air Patrol pilot died in November 2020 when his single-engine Cessna aircraft collided with multiple power wires as it approached Whiteman Airport before falling into a residential street.
READ MORE: Gary Godinez, a Gardena man fatally stabbed on Saturday, has been identified by authorities.
“What are we waiting for?” says the narrator. “Are we waiting for an explosion, are we waiting for a set amount of people to die?” Padilla questioned on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors asked staff members on Tuesday to identify documentation and material that would be required to be presented to the FAA if the county made a formal request to shut the airport.
While the Board of Supervisors has jurisdiction over the airport, they do not have the ability to shut it down, and no petition for the airport’s closure has been filed as of Wednesday.
The procedure, according to L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, might take a decade or more, but it should stay at the forefront of residents’ concerns as they seek protection from the hazards posed by the airfield so near to their homes.
Residents were joined in their efforts by Congressman Tony Cardenas, who was alerted to the problem after the early-January disaster. In response, he wrote to the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board, requesting full safety records on Whiteman Airport.
“Is Whiteman Airport safe?” “Are these instances out of the ordinary?” he inquired. Are they doing everything necessary to ensure that it is as safe as possible? That’s what we’re going to investigate more.”
MORE NEWS: One person was killed in a hit-and-run in Palmdale, and authorities are looking for the suspect.
On Wednesday, Cardenas paid tribute to the cops who rescued the pilot on Jan. 9 at Montague Charter Academy.