Airline Pays $54,000 For Airport Noise Violations

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Kalitta Charters, LLC, a Michigan-based charter airline company, has paid $54,000 as part of a plea agreement with the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office for operations that violated the City’s airport noise ordinance, it was announced today.

“This agreement will help protect the community from excessive airport noise, while at the same time saving taxpayers the expense of a jury trial,” said City Prosecutor Doug Haubert. “The company has taken responsibility for the violations. More importantly, I believe Kalitta will take appropriate steps to avoid these kinds of operations in the future.”

In April 2015, the City Prosecutor’s Office filed a criminal complaint alleging 13 misdemeanor charges for operations between June 2014 and March 2015 in which Kalitta flights violated the City’s airport noise ordinance. After each event, Airport staff contacted Kalitta in an attempt to prevent additional violations.

Under Long Beach’s unique airport noise ordinance, departing aircraft may not exceed a specified decibel level, ranging from 79 decibels during night hours to 102.5 decibels during the day. Since the case was filed in April 2015, Kalitta has not violated the City’s ordinance.

The settlement with Kalitta is the fourth “consent decree” settlement for noise violations at Long Beach Airport. Similar consent decrees were entered into over a decade ago with Komar Aviation, Jetblue Airways, and American Airlines, Inc.

Under the terms of Kalitta’s consent decree, the airline agreed to plead guilty to 12 of the 13 charges and pay $54,000 to the Long Beach Community Foundation, which equals $4,500 for each count. One charge was dismissed after Kalitta provided evidence that the operation was exempted from the noise ordinance because it was a federal government-chartered flight.

The consent decree will terminate in one year. If Kalitta violates the noise ordinance in the next 12 months, it will pay a fine of $6,000 for each violation and could see its permission to use the airport revoked by the Airport Manager. If Kalitta sees no additional noise violations, it may request that its case will terminate after one year.

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