Phoenix, FAA propose plan to address rerouting of Sky Harbor flight paths

The FAA will consider and develop new flight path routes after neighbors and the city of Phoenix sued the FAA for changing its original flight path without notification.

PHOENIX - The City of Phoenix and the FAA proposed a plan to resolve noise concerns resulting from the rerouting of flight paths at Sky Harbor.  

The groups filed a joint petition Thursday to move forward months after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of lawsuits filed against the FAA over the September 2014 flight path changes.

PREVIOUSLY: Court ruling overturns FAA rerouting of Sky Harbor flight paths

In its ruling, the court said the FAA found that there was a possibility for controversy resulting from the changes, but "did not notify local citizens and community leaders ... much less allow citizens and leaders to weigh in" as the FAA was "obligated to."

The FAA, according to a release, had concerns that complying with the ruling would increase delays at Sky Harbor while changes were made. The groups reached an agreement that would "mitigate noise," without concern for increased delays.

The plan has two steps, according to a release from the city.

Step one

The FAA, with support from the City, would engage in community outreach while creating temporary departure procedures to the west, approximating the pre-2014 routes. These procedures are planned to be used starting in April 2018.

Step two

The FAA would develop new satellite-based procedures for the westbound departures and consider routes that approximate the pre- September 2014 routes near the airport. The FAA would also consider feedback on procedures throughout the Phoenix area. The FAA would engage in community outreach while developing these procedures.

The Court must approve the petition. If it does, according to the City of Phoenix, the first community meeting is anticipated to take place in February of 2018.

“This agreement will make sure that those most impacted by noise as a result of the 2014 changes will get quicker relief," Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. "It also means that in considering future changes, the FAA will abide by the law and follow the public process that our residents deserve.”

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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