Residents near Van Nuys Airport feel heard, but they’re still angry
Van Nuys airport staff are standing by as contractors work to repair damage to a runway that broke off over the weekend.
Rescue crews prepare to move a car stuck in the mud after an overpass collapsed on the Westside Freeway on June 18, 2012.
Van Nuys Airport is a busy airport and has about 200,000 takeoffs and landings.
And while many consider the airport to be a success story, recent events involving contractors and construction materials have had some people talking. The incident with contractor employees has also generated discussion in the office of Supervisor Gloria Molina.
“I have heard lots of complaints about the work that’s being done at the airport,” Molina said. “There are lots of complaints about contractors and their safety practices.”
Molina said she has been dealing with contractors directly through her office. She said she has written letters to the contractors, and met with them in person.
“I have requested that they take all safety procedures and procedures when dealing with hazardous materials,” Molina said.
The airport is not responsible for the damages to the runway, Molina said, but some people at the airport will likely be affected as the project progresses.
“It’s not our responsibility, but we will be affected,” Molina said.
Molina pointed out that the airport handled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in great detail.
“I think that we should be a little more organized in how we handle the things that are going on in a big city,” Molina said.
The runway issue, and others, have come up repeatedly during public comment hearings conducted by the San Fernando Valley Board of Supervisors.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for the airport and its safety procedures,” said Joe Baccaro, who has served on the Airport Commission for 20 years. “They do a good job.”
Baccaro said some of the complaints that came up last week were unfounded. One worker from