New Jersey Coalition Against Aircraft Noise

NJCAAN Intends To Block Implementation Of The FAA's Airspace Redesign Plan

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) Airspace Redesign is fundamentally flawed since the agency developed the plan with the region's air traffic controllers and air carriers, while excluding public participation and independent Federal and State agency oversight. The agency has failed to detail how the project will make environmental and economic sense (with an air quality and cost/benefit analysis) since the plan increases flight distance by 3.7 miles per aircraft on average.

Although the FAA's modeling shows a net reduction in total population exposed to aircraft noise, we believe that the modeling if flawed. The FAA results are based on highly questionable modeling and mitigation measures that may never work. As a result, we believe that the FAA's modeling results substantially understate the noise damage from the plan. Residents in the immediate vicinity of the airport can expect an onerous increase in aircraft noise from the implementation of new low altitude departure patterns over their communities through departure "fanning" procedures. A number of separable aspects of the plan result in noise impacts that are out of proportion to any claimed benefit. For these reasons, we believe that the agency's plan should be substantially revised. We believe that the following should to be included in modifications to the project going forward:

1) environmental considerations (both aircraft noise and emissions mitigation) must be included as high level project goals;
2) public and independent Federal agency oversight.

The onerous environmental impacts of the FAA's plan are no surprise since it singularly attempts to address aviation industry issues. As a result, the Redesign could increase aircraft noise and aircraft emissions in the metropolitan area, while not meaningfully addressing the area's chronic delays. The plan could serve to exacerbate delays by introducing more traffic into the area, while it is questionable that the area's airports can accommodate such traffic. As a result, the metropolitan area's aircraft gridlock could be magnified.

We are pleased to see that the General Accounting Office (GAO) has decided to investigate this project and look forward to reviewing the GAO's report. However, we believe that legal action currently is required to halt implementation of the Redesign beginning this fall.

The FAA's Airspace Redesign Documents Are Available At:

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