, 2022-12-19 22:44:04
Standing outside waiting to pick up her daughter from school, Suzanne Gutierrez-Hedges started counting the deafening private jets flying overhead.
In nine minutes, she got to four.
Her daughter’s teacher told her every time a plane passes, the teacher stops the lesson to wait for it to leave because it’s too loud to speak to students.
“I feel like we’re living in a war zone, they come in so incessantly. Coming in, taking off, coming in, taking off. It’s out of control,” says Gutierrez-Hedges.
The school is beneath the flight path from Van Nuys Airport, one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country. General aviation means it doesn’t have scheduled flights like LAX, so jets can come and go any time, day or night. And since the pandemic, it’s gotten busier as more wealthy people pay to avoid the close quarters of commercial air travel.
But those extra fumes are descending upon the people who live nearby.
“Just this morning, as we’re walking outside to take my kids to school and getting in the car, I was like, ‘Cover your nose! Run to the car! Get in the car! Shut the door!’ I couldn’t breathe because of the jet fumes,” says Guitierrez-Hedges.
The flight-tracking website FlightAware estimates private flights have gone up 15% since 2019, Reuters reported this year. On top of the rise in demand, Santa Monica Airport shortened its runway five years ago. Now it’s too short for most jet traffic, and many of those planes relocated to Van Nuys….
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