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San Diego International Airport is facing an increasing number of violations for planes departing after the airport’s curfew deadline. According to data analyzed by inewsource, there was a 70% increase in the number of planes departing after the 11:30 p.m. curfew deadline in 2022, with 89 planes departing in violation of the curfew, compared to only 52 in the previous year. The number of curfew violations had been on a steady decline in recent years, reaching a low of 18 in 2020.
The curfew, which was established in 1976, was put in place to minimize the noise of departing aircraft. The first violation costs airlines $2,000, the second violation earns a $6,000 fine, and the third carries a $10,000 fine. Airlines receive a clean slate every six months, but any new fines are multiplied by the total number of violations during the previous six months.
Despite the fines, violations of the curfew have continued to increase, with JetBlue and American Airlines being the top violators with 59 and 57 violations, respectively. JetBlue has been fined over $600,000 during the last six years, and combined, airlines have been fined more than $1.3 million.
San Diego is one of the few cities in the country with a curfew on airplanes taking off, intended to limit overnight noise coming from the downtown airport. The airport authority has a noise department that monitors all departures after 11:30 p.m. When a departure occurs after the curfew, a panel determines whether there was a valid reason for the delay, such as weather conditions or a medical emergency.
The increasing number of curfew violations is a concern for San Diego residents, and the airport authority will need to work with airlines to ensure that they adhere to the curfew regulations.