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New Jersey Coalition Against Aircraft Noise

Environmental Justice Impacts From FAA Project Significant!

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) Metro Airspace Redesign proposals could result in "SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IMPACTS", except for the Ocean Routing and Future No Action (existing procedures) alternatives. The agency's "Preferred Alternative" is taken to the extent to discard long-established aircraft noise abatement procedures at Newark Airport by fanning departures. Although the FAA suggests that it has put mitigation in place to address these impacts, we are highly skeptical that the mitigation is adequate. In addition, the FAA's modeling data barely avoids triggering significant environmental justice (EJ) impacts and is suspect. We have listed specific language from the FAA's draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for this project that highlights these environmental injustices below.

"The significant noise impacts near EWR (Newark Airport) would constitute a disproportionate impact on a minority population." (p. 4-45)

"The Modifications to Existing Airspace Alternative, Integrated Airspace Alternative Variation without ICC, and Integrated Airspace Alternative with ICC all would result in disproportionate impacts to minority populations and, therefore, would result in significant environmental justice impacts." (p. 4-45)


  1. Elizabeth Aircraft Noise Impacts
  2. Ironbound Aircraft Noise Impacts
  3. EWR Environmental Justice Summary Report

Brief Filed Challenging FAA's Airspace Redesign Project

On August 29, 2008, the New Jersey Coalition Against Aircraft Noise (NJCAAN) and 11 additional parties submitted a joint brief challenging the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) record of decision (ROD) for the NY/NJ/PHL Airspace Redesign Project. We believe that the FAA's analysis of the Plan's environmental impacts include the following deficiencies.

  • Failure to properly assess the Project's environmental impacts on minority and low-income populations affected by Newark Airport operations as required by Executive Order on Environmental Justice.

  • Failure to analyze the air quality impacts as required by the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

  • Failure to analyze the environmental impacts from the growth in aircraft traffic generated by the Project.

  • Failure to analyze congestion management as a feasible alternative, which the agency has implemented in 2008 as a delay reduction measure at Newark and Kennedy Airports.

  • Failure to properly evaluate effects on a large number of parks and other special properties.

  • Failure to analyze the cumulative impacts of the Project along with the planned expansion of Philadelphia and Stewart International airports.

  • Failure to disclose and assess noise impacts.

  • Use of an inflated level of operating activity at Newark Airport in operational and environmental analysis.


  1. Petitioners Joint Brief
  2. Respondents Brief
  3. Petitioners Joint Reply Brief

FAA Metro Area Airspace Redesign Internal Policy

In the spring of 2005, the New Jersey Coalition Against Aircraft Noise (NJCAAN) unearthed a summary of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) internal policy document on the Metro Airspace Redesign titled New York Integrated Control Complex (NYICC) Concept of Operations (AKA Integrated Airspace with the Integrated Control Complex). The FAA apparently provided this summary report to the Syndicat National des Controleurs du Trafic Aerien, a French air traffic controller group, in preparation for a Washington DC conference in the fall of 2004.

This report contains the following diagrams that the FAA excluded from the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the redesign project.

  • A diagram of the expected decrease in separation standards (fig. 7).

  • Low altitude holding pattern locations and configurations (figs. 11 & 13).

  • Area overview of the departure and arrival configurations for the NYICC (Figure 9), which includes Ocean Routing tracks.

In addition, the report provides a concise summary of the NYICC, which is absent from the DEIS.


  1. NYICC Concept of Operations
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