Van Nuys Airport (VNY) in the San Fernando Valley of LA is one of the world’s busiest airports, with 300,000 takeoffs and landings in 2021.
But don’t expect to take a commercial flight there. VNY caters to VIP private planes only.
Celebrities such as Kylie and Caitlyn Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and Travis Scott call in their local runway.
And that’s become a big problem.
According to the Los Angeles Times, residents in the surrounding area are complaining about the non-stop roar of the jet engines and the overwhelming smell of the jet fuel.
“The fumes are unbelievably bad,” one local named Sue Steinberg told the paper. A long-time resident, she claims this wasn’t a problem until recently.
And she’s not exaggerating. The 1 percent are using private jets more than ever. 2022 will be a record year for private flights in North America, according to research by Argus TraqPak.
In fact, travel by private jet in the US was up for the first eight months of 2022 to 2.76 million aircraft departures, a 12.3 percent from 2019.
More air travel means more air pollution
Private jets emit more than 72,000 pounds of greenhouse gases, and because they carry less people, they cause 14 times more pollution than commercial planes per passenger.A report by Transport and Environment found that just 1% of people cause 50% of global aviation emissions.
Two hundred private jets fly in and out of VNY every day, some for very short flights.
Kylie Jenner caught heat recently when a Twitter account called @CelebJets tracked her 17-minute trip from VNY to nearby Camarillo. Twitter users branded her a “climate criminal.”
The controversy was fueled even further after she posted a photo of her and her husband, Travis Scott, kissing between their two jets with the caption, “You wanna take mine or yours.”
Kim Kardashian was also flagged by Celebrity Jets for taking four under-20-minute flights over two months.
While the use of private jets has outraged people around the world, in Van Nuys, the issue is personal.
One local told the LA Times, “I can’t let my son out. “When the fumes come out, I have to bring him inside.”
A popular expression among residents in the area has become: “We die so the 1% can fly!”