2022 Airport Complaint Report

This report covers complaints from January through June 2022

Compared with the same period last year, the complaint rate per thousand operations is down significantly. There was a slight increase in the complaint rate in June 2022 as compared to the previous month.

Where do the complaints come from?

This graphic shows the source of complaints by reporting zone. The values for each zone are the percentage of total reports for the period.

The complaint "hot spots" have changed from Zones 6,7,and 8 in 2021 to zone 10 (out of the City). In 2021, Zones 6,7, and 8 (under the south traffic pattern) accounted for 58% of the total, but they accounted for only 23% so far in 2022. This year, through June, Zone 10 alone accounted for 58% of the complaints (up from 8% last year)--all of them about "loud" aircraft.

Zone 10 encompasses all areas around the airport outside of Torrance and Lomita. Several locations in Palos Verdes were mentioned in the complaints--most notably Via Valmonte, which was noted in 7 complaints.

What are the complaints about?

The knowledge that left turns on departure from the airport to the west are NOT illegal appears to be spreading. Complaints about "early left turns" and "south pattern" have dropped from 26% of the total in 2021 to 6%, in spite of the increase in south pattern operations.

Aircraft in flight are regulated exclusively by the FAA. The City of Torrance has no authority to regulate this activity as was clearly stated in the Federal District Court case of United States v City of Blue Ash in 1978. This Ohio city attempted to fine pilots that did not follow its municipal code specifying a flight path for noise abatement purposes. The injunction against the City was affirmed in 1980 by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Similar sections of the Torrance Municipal Code attempting to regulate aircraft in flight for noise abatement purposes are similarly invalid and unenforceable, as stated in writing by the FAA's Office of the Chief Counsel in February of 2020 and, again, in August 2022.