More than 75 Percent of L.A. Voters Say: Move the North Runway

Gary Toebben

January 8, 2013

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition to Fix LAX NOW has received a powerful endorsement to move the north runway at LAX — from L.A.'s voters.  

Ahead of the public hearings to modernize the airport and move the north runway, which start tonight, the Coalition to Fix LAX NOW sponsored a comprehensive citywide poll to hear from L.A. voters on what they think about LAX and moving the north runway. The poll was conducted in December and the findings were released on Monday. The results of the poll were extraordinarily clear: move the north runway. 

More than 1,800 likely Los Angeles municipal election voters were polled. An additional 1,275 interviews were conducted to ensure that the results represented about 200 people in each city council district and 300 voters in Council District 11, home to LAX.  The size of the poll was three times the number of voters surveyed in a standard citywide Mayoral election poll. The poll found:

  • Seventy-four percent of likely L.A. municipal election voters favor moving the runway. This overwhelming consensus crossed party lines, gender, racial/ethnic and geographic differences.
  • Support rose to 86 percent citywide after voters heard a basic set of facts about the need to move the runway.
  • Support remained at 77 percent citywide and 74 percent in Council District 11 after voters heard the arguments against moving the runway.

We expect that some opponents of moving the runway will try to discredit this survey of more than 3,000 citywide voters. That's why we want everyone to know that this honest and straight up assessment was done by the same pollster that worked for L.A. City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, a vocal opponent of moving the runway, during his first election to City Council.

Two additional findings of interest:

  • There is intense interest in connecting LAX to the region's light rail system, with 87 percent saying this is important to them.
  • By 10 to 1 (51 percent to 5 percent), voters prefer a candidate for Mayor or City Council who favors moving the runway over one who opposes it — even after hearing the views of opponents.

In summarizing the results, pollster Paul Goodwin made the following comment:  “No other issue I’ve seen in 20 years of polling in L.A. achieves this level of agreement.”

L.A.’s voters have spoken. They have waited long enough. It is time for the Board of Airport Commissioners, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the members of the Los Angeles City Council and the County Board of Supervisors to take action this spring to approve a long-range plan for LAX that will assure the safety and efficiency of this major link to the rest of the world. 

And that's The Business Perspective.

Total Votes: 1 Avg Vote: 1


The wording of the survey was misleading. It suggested that there are serious safety issues that would be solved by moving the runway north. The definitive NASA safety study found that air travel at LAX is exceedingly safe and that the risk of accidents is currently minuscule. The cost is estimated at $450 million and it is estimated to save two lives over 10 years. We could probably save more lives by installing a new traffic light than by moving the runway at LAX. maybe we could do a survey asking voters whether they would prefer to improve safety in the city by spending $450 million to move a runway at LAX or by spending $100,000 to install a new traffic light?
Posted by: Robert Shurtz @ 12:20:00 am

So let me see if I get this straight -- you call up 3000 people who don't know anything about an issue, you spoon-feed them just the right 'information' to get them to give you the answer you want and then you trumpet the results as if it's some great triumph. What an accomplishment. Lemme guess: these 'pollsters' were part of the crowd persuading Mitt Romney that he was going to win.
Posted by: Bob Tube @ 10:36:00 pm

This is a dishonest and misleading survey just based on the first question:
?As you may know, there are four runways at LAX. Would you favor or oppose moving the north runway at LAX by 260 feet to improve safety....THERE IS NO SAFETY ISSUE OR ADVANTAGE. This is the lowest form of public service and will not prevail. Shame of the Chamber.
Posted by: Pam Stacey @ 9:19:00 pm

Has anyone of those in favor of moving the runway north ever lived, worked, tried to sleep in the flight path? I moved here because it was a quiet family neighborhood. Moving the runway north will in essence ruin this.
Posted by: paul veyna @ 9:05:00 am

Hearty congratulations to LAACC Staff and members of the Coalition on advancing this cause to a logical and reasonable takeoff point. Thank you!
Posted by: Bob Rodine @ 8:53:00 am

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