Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe plans to introduce a motion today that would force Los Angeles World Airports to comply with a 2006 settlement that required the agency to redistribute air traffic throughout the region.

The motion directs William Fujioka, the county's chief executive officer, to meet with officials from the city, LAWA and the county's Airport Land Use Commission and enforce compliance with the settlement agreement that stems from expansion plans at Los Angeles International Airport. Fujioka would follow-up with the board within 30 days.

Knabe's motion will also ask the county's counsel to review the settlement and report back in 30 days on whether LAWA and Los Angeles have abided by the terms of the agreement.

He is expected to the introduce the motion at today's Board of Supervisors' meeting.

"I am very concerned that agreements to substantively address these fundamental issues, which were paramount to achieving the Settlement Agreement in the first place, have not been met by the City," Knabe states in his motion.

The settlement called for the agency to take substantive steps to reduce environmental impacts near LAX by encouraging passenger and cargo expansion at L.A./Ontario International and L.A./Palmdale Regional airports.

LAWA operates LAX as well as the Ontario, Palmdale and Van Nuys airports. The agency reports to the city of Los Angeles.

County officials last week blasted LAWA for not taking steps to meet the terms of the settlement.

In 2005, Los Angeles County was among several entities and cities to challenge the environmental reports associated with LAWA's master plan to modernize the airport.

The following year, a settlement agreement was reached between Los Angeles, LAWA and those entities that were opposed to the plan.

The settlement was seen as the guiding document for the city and LAWA to comply with the environmental impacts of LAX and set a limit on future growth at the airport. It was also meant to serve in lieu of a court ruling.

Knabe's motion states that an amendment to LAX's modernization plan fails to provide enough of a detailed analysis on how the proposed changes address promises made in the settlement such as the redistributing of air traffic in the region.

"A prompt and thorough assessment of the City and LAWA's compliance with the settlement agreement is needed," the motion states.

Ontario officials have long claimed LAWA has not done enough to distribute air traffic throughout the region, blaming the struggles on management.

The downturn at ONT started after 2007 when travel peaked at 7.2 million annual passenger traffic.

The decline, which was seen at many airports across the nation, was a result of the recession.

Airlines started to shift the way they did business, which included reducing flights at airports similar in size to ONT.

Ontario officials have said that while ONT's share in the market has continued to decline, LAX's airport has seen gains.

The Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa has supported a plan for a modern and revitalized LAX, which was not approved by LAWA's governing board.

Officials from the Neighborhood Council, which serves as an advisory for the the city of Los Angeles, said they are closely watching these latest developments.

Members will meet with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa this week to discuss the issue, said Craig Eggers, who serves as chairman of Airport Relations Committee for the council.

"Right now, the city of Los Angeles is faced with one of its biggest public works projects," said Eggers, referring to LAX's modernization plans.

"Should we really have all our eggs in one basket?"

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners voted last week on several modernization projects at LAX, including to increase the distance between two runways.

Some critics say the approval of the airport's modernization plan will result in the expansion of LAX, while LAWA officials have said the change is necessary and improves safety at the airport. 

Knabe, who represents the 4th District, is the latest official to question whether LAWA has done enough to redistribute air traffic in the region.

The issue was brought up by Fujioka, who had concerns over the lack of the redistribution of air traffic, in a letter sent to LAWA. He sent the letter in October in response to an environmental report for the airport's modernization plan.

A spokesman for Supervisor Mike Antonovich said the city of Los Angeles has failed to act in the best interests of travelers.

Amid the criticism, LAWA officials have maintained their commitment to redistributing air traffic and have said LAX's modernization plan does not impede those efforts. In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration prohibits the agency from forcing airlines to fly into a specific airport.

"We continue to work toward regionalization, but we can't force passengers and airlines to choose one airport over another," LAWA spokeswoman Nancy Castles said.


Reach Liset via email, call her at 909-483-8556, or find her on Twitter @DBOntarioNow.