Airplane Noise and Traffic

The Laguna Beach City Council and staff are continuing to work hard to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on our residents. In 2013, the City Council established the Subcommittee on Airplane Noise to address aircraft noise issues. The numbers show that we have been successful in reducing the number of commercial jets that fly over our community. In August 2014, more than 850 commercial jets flew over the 8.5 miles of coastline in Laguna Beach. In August 2017, fewer than 170 commercial jets flew over the City. Even with this very significant reduction in overflights, we know our residents want and deserve as much ongoing protection from aircraft noise impacts as possible.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the statutory responsibility to promote, safety, efficiency, and provide for the safe use of airspace. The FAA has the sole authority to control air traffic. Neither the City of Laguna Beach nor the State of California can regulate the altitude, speed, direction, or location of aircraft in flight.

The FAA’s “Southern California Metroplex Project” (Metroplex) is the most recent and most publicized event related to aircraft noise and we begin with a brief summary of Metroplex. We then discuss why the City filed a legal challenge to the Metroplex and why we settled with the FAA. We then explain how our settlement compares with the one between the FAA and Newport Beach. After the Metroplex discussion, we provide information on a broader range of related topics including some frequently asked questions and our answer to each. 

The aircraft noise issue is complex and highly technical. This relatively short presentation attempts to provide some of the most important facts that are relevant to the sources of aircraft noise in Laguna Beach. While this webpage may not provide all of the information you might want, we believe our responses to the frequently asked questions below will serve as a starting point for anyone who wants to better understand this complicated issue. Finally, if you have questions please submit them to AskLaguna or send an email to JFrimond@lagunabeachcity.net.