In USA the FAA’s new air traffic control system NextGen is causing major noise pollution

The American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s new air traffic control system NextGen is causing considerable upset in parts of the USA, in the same way that precision navigation that is being promoted by the CAA is in the UK. The overhaul of airspace and flight paths in the USA is intended to save airlines fuel and time. But the new routes are causing misery to the people who now find themselves, unexpectedly and with no warning, under them. One resident, in Phoenix, said:  “If you can imagine yourself at an air show, that’s what it would sound like.” Planes sometimes every 30 seconds for hours at a time.  “Am I angry? Absolutely. I’m furious.” In Phoenix planes now fly low over heavily populated neighbourhoods.  The Mayor said the FAA did not hold a single public hearing notifying neighbours of the change, nor did the agency ever meet with him. The Mayor commented: “I think that the choice that was made to have such a disproportionate impact over such a small number of people is really fundamentally unfair and unacceptable.”  A 2012 Congressional FAA authorization bill fast-tracked the roll out of NextGen by exempting it from normal environmental impact reviews and public hearings. NextGen is also causing problems for people at JFK and LaGuardia airports.
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FAA’s new air traffic control system NextGen causing major noise pollution

See the 4 minute video clip about the situation, and what people want done about it.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/faa-new-air-traffic-control-system-nextgen-causing-major-noise-pollution/

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America’s antiquated air traffic control system is getting an upgrade.

30.1.2015 (CBS News)

The overhaul is designed to keep up with increasing air travel and the push for on-time flights. But parts of the country, including the area hosting Super Bowl XLIX, are paying a steep price for progress, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.

Nicole Marquez just moved her bedroom into the middle of her house and put Plexiglas on all of her windows. She lives in Phoenix, so it’s not to keep the heat in, but rather to keep the noise out.

“If you can imagine yourself at an air show, that’s what it would sound like,” Marquez said.

She said there is a constant barrage of airplanes flying over her home in a historic neighborhood near downtown Phoenix — every 30 seconds for hours at a time.

“You’re going to rip your hair out. 6 o’ clock in the evening, you’re ripping your hair out trying to eat dinner,” Marquez said. “Am I angry? Absolutely. I’m furious.”

This is the unintended consequence of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). It uses satellites instead of old-fashioned radar to guide airplanes. This allows for more planes in the air, safely spaced closer together, and burning less fuel because their flight paths are more direct.

But in Phoenix, that change mean planes that used to take off and turn nine miles out now make that turn at two to three miles, flying low over heavily populated neighborhoods. Noise complaints have taken off too, soaring from 221 in all of 2013 to more than 3,300 in just the past four months since the flight paths were changed.

Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, said the FAA did not hold a single public hearing notifying neighbors of the change, nor did the agency ever meet with him. The FAA said it did notify the airport as far back as 2012.

Stanton said he feels blind-sided by the FAA.

“I think that the choice that was made to have such a disproportionate impact over such a small number of people is really fundamentally unfair and unacceptable,” he said.

A 2012 Congressional FAA authorization bill fast-tracked the roll out of NextGen by exempting it from normal environmental impact reviews and public hearings. The FAA declined CBS News’ request for an interview.

“It’s the Federal Aviation Administration, not the federal arrogance administration,” New York Congressman Steve Israel said.

He said NextGen is also causing problems for people in the Northeast as flight paths at JFK and LaGuardia airports are also changing. He wants the FAA to start meeting homeowners as it rolls out NextGen across the country through 2025.

“I’m not asking for NextGen to be rolled back. I’m not asking for it to be reduced. I’m asking for the FAA to be sensitive to community concerns and ensure that not one community bears the noise, but that there’s a fair and common sense distribution in the vicinity of airports,” Israel said.

Nicole Marquez said NextGen may be good for the country and the airline industry, but the pain should be shared.

“I don’t think that the airlines should be able to bank on other people’s misery,” she said.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/faa-new-air-traffic-control-system-nextgen-causing-major-noise-pollution/

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See also

Residents in Auckland, New Zealand, fighting the noise nuisance of planes over the city

People in Auckland New Zealand, are fighting the nuisance of aircraft noise, which has become a serious problem in recent years. The airport is close to the city, and aircraft frequently use flight paths over densely populated areas, as they turn either when landing or taking off. The problem has been made worse in the past year, because concentrated flight paths are being used, in the same way that is happening in UK, Europe, USA and everywhere.  The concentrated routes are causing a lot of anger and distress. The local group is Auckland: The Plane Truth (ATPT), working hard to restore some peace and quiet for Auckland residents. ATPT says: “At the least, the noise is physically and emotionally taxing: at the worst, unbearable. Unable to cope, some residents have been forced to move house or to take medication  for depression and anxiety, and so they can sleep.” There is a petition, asking for a curfew at night, between 10pm and 7am because of the recent changes to flight procedures over Auckland, and the planned significant increases in traffic through Auckland Airport. The type of houses in Auckland, have weatherboard with tin roofing and single glazing. These are difficult to insulate against noise, exacerbating the problem.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/01/residents-in-auckland-new-zealand-fighting-the-noise-nuisance-of-planes-over-the-city/
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Residents and city officials in Palo Alto area gear up to fight increased San Francisco aircraft noise

People in Palo Alto, California, (about 40 km south east of San Francisco) and surrounding areas have become increasingly concerned about the recent increase in aircraft noise.  As for so many areas in Europe, they are being subjected to more concentrated flight paths, as the FAA works to make airspace more efficient, in their programme called NextGen (Next Generation Air Transportation System). People are getting together to oppose the changes, which have significantly increased the perceived noise for many people since NextGen was started across the Bay Area.  “Citizens’ groups are springing up along the Midpeninsula with the support of their city governments.”  “The NextGen changes have alarmed communities across the nation where the program has rolled out.  Starting in June 2012 over Queens, New York, planes began flying at low altitudes every 20 seconds to a minute from 6 am to midnight….” The SFO Community Roundtable addresses airport noise issues and represents every major city in San Mateo County, just south of San Francisco. There are also concerns that FAA is freeing up airspace, by flight path concentration, for drones that may have economic benefits.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/10/residents-and-city-officials-in-palo-alto-area-gear-up-to-fight-increased-san-francisco-aircraft-noise/

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