Less than a week after the Valley Industry & Commerce Association passed a resolution opposing L.A.’s ban on public events in aircraft hangars at Van Nuys Airport and other airports in the city, the Los Angeles City Council introduced a motion Tuesday to eventually allow events on a case-by-case basis.
The motion, presented by Councilmembers Nury Martinez and Joe Buscaino, instructs the Los Angeles Fire Department and Department of Building and Safety to recommend a system to permit events at hangars.
“I am personally grateful to the councilmembers for their swift action when their constituents and their office became aware of this issue,” VICA President Stuart Waldman said in a statement. “We want to keep Van Nuys Airport open for business and open for the community.”
The issue came to VICA’s attention after city officials forced Van Nuys Airport to move a Dec. 5 fundraising event for the Mid Valley Family YMCA from an aircraft hangar to a tent.
Van Nuys Airport Association President Curt Castagna said that representatives from the fire department and building and safety briefed the association on the ban and said they would now enforce it. The city imposed the moratorium, which prohibits events in spaces zoned for commercial use, in response to safety concerns after an Oakland warehouse fire killed 36 event-goers in 2016.
Castagna told the Business Journal that unlike most warehouses, airplane hangars have large doors for people to exit in case of emergency and numerous safety features. He hopes the city will work with the airport to craft a new permitting system.
“We just want to be involved in the due process part and provide input relative to solutions – mitigation measures and best practices – to address how we can make sure these events take place and do so safely,” Castagna said.