An "early turn" occurs when an aircraft on a westerly departure from any of the four LAX runways initiates a turn prior to reaching the shoreline that results in the aircraft flying over the community to either the north or south of the airport.
To minimize noise in residential communities along the north and south airport boundaries, pilots of all aircraft departing toward the west (over the ocean) shall fly straight until they are past the shoreline before beginning any turns, unless specifically instructed otherwise by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control. The FAA has the authority to instruct pilots to turn early to ensure the safe operation of the aircraft.
LAWA regularly monitors all early turns; and for those turning over El Segundo or the Playa del Rey/Westchester communities, LAWA uses recordings of communications between pilots and air traffic controllers to determine who initiated the early turns. LAWA issues notification letters, with supporting graphics, to aircraft operators that deviated from this procedure and requests that they investigate those early turns not initiated by the FAA and respond to LAWA with an explanation of why the incident occurred and what efforts will be made to improve compliance with this policy. LAWA also communicates regularly with the FAA related to this procedure to ensure that they refrain from instructing pilots to turn early whenever possible.
Each month LAWA generates a summary report of aircraft operations that resulted in early turns over the noise sensitive communities to the north and south of the airport, as listed below. These reports also indicate which early turns over El Segundo or Playa del Rey/Westchester were pilot initiated, FAA initiated, or were caused by wind drift.