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RESTORE SAFETY AND QUIET
TO our Skies
WE DID NOT MOVE TO THE FAA, THE FAA MOVED TO US
SCANA is a group of dedicated residents impacted by the FAA's 2014 NextGen flight path changes at Sky Harbor International Airport. Those changes, made without notice or community involvement, sent airplanes over thousands of Northeast Valley homes creating danger and noise pollution never seen before in these communities.
CITY OF SCOTTSDALE PROPOSES FLIGHT PATH CHANGES TO THE FAA REGARDING THE NEXTGEN SKY HARBOR DEPARTURES THAT PLAGUE NORTHEAST VALLEY COMMUNITIES.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CITY'S FORMAL COMMENT SUBMISSION TO THE FAA
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FINAL REPORT JDA AVIATION COMPILED FOR THE CITY
The City of Scottsdale, working with it's aviation consultant, JDA Aviation, and SCANA, proposed two modifications to the FAA's Concept One presented at workshop meetings hosted by the FAA last month. The City's Preferred Modification is show below.
The City's Preferred Modification would create a new flight path (purple) east of the Fort McDowell reservation for two of the current flight paths (QUAKY and MRBIL). The third flight path (ZEPER, green) would remain where it is today over Scottsdale. If implemented by the FAA, this alternative would move approximately 65% of the traffic away from Scottsdale communities. While this would be a welcome change, and SCANA is supporting this alternative, SCANA will suggest to the FAA that the ZEPER (green) path then be moved to the FAA's Concept One route (orange path, shown in article below this one) that would be placed over unpopulated mountain terrain. With this addition, up to 100% of the environmental impacts being suffered by northeast Scottsdale communities today would be addressed.
A second City alternative, named the Acceptable Modification,would place two of the current routes( QUAKY and MRBIL, yellow paths) over the mountains using the FAA's Concept One path and leave the third route (ZEPER, green) in place over Scottsdale. This alternative also would move about 65% of the traffic away from Scottsdale communities and about 35% would remain. While this option is SCANA's second choice of the City's proposals, it would likewise provide meaningful relief that SCANA would support. SCANA will propose to the FAA that the ZEPER, green, flight path also be moved to share the outgoing route that the other two routes would follow. This addition would move up to 100% of the traffic from our communities.
FAA WORKSHOP MEETINGS PRESENTED "CONCEPTS" FOR NORTHEAST VALLEY FLIGHT PATHS
The FAA displayed two concepts for modifications to flight paths out of Sky Harbor Airport that affect the northeast valley. Concept One would be an additional path for northeast departures that would route air traffic over mostly unpopulated and mountainous terrain which SCANA has been proposing. While this new route looks promising, the FAA would continue to use the existing three paths for a majority of the departures. This would mean that the current noise and safety issues would continue with a slight decrease in traffic. It is SCANA's position that the noise and safety impacts need to be restored to the pre-NextGen levels that existed in 2014. This would be possible if all of the traffic using the three flight paths causing the problems were to use the Concept One routing or the pre-NextGen flight paths.
It must be noted that the FAA has made it clear these are only concepts and at this point has made no commitment that it will pursue implementation of these alternatives.
Concept Two creates two new flight paths for east arriving air traffic landing at Sky Harbor that would be further south of the current routing. The current arriving flight path would be eliminated. The current path is an issue for those communities who are below it. These new paths look promising to alleviate noise and safety issues for northeast valley communities. SCANA would give preference to the most southern route of the two.
If both Concept One and Two could be implemented, with Concept One utilized for all northeast departures, these airspace changes should allow the FAA to then return Scottsdale Airport flight path routing to pre-NextGen tracks that would help alleviate some of the noise issues from that airport.
Here is our NEWSLETTER archive:
NOVEMBER 2020-#2 --- Correction to complain links
NOVEMBER 2020 --- Residents asked to file FAA complaints, however the simple link in the update has been discontinued, only use the detailed link to file a complaint
OCTOBER 2020 --- Court dates extended again; FAA has new webpage
SEPTEMBER 2020 --- Scottsdale and FAA are in mediation talks
JULY 2020 --- Scottsdale's lawsuit against the FAA is extended once again to allow the parties time to attempt mediation
MAY 2020 --- Extensions granted in Scottsdale-FAA lawsuit
APRIL 2020 --- City of Scottsdale continues to work on FAA lawsuit
MARCH 2020 --- City of Scottsdale files petition against the FAA with the U.S. Court of Appeals
FEBRUARY 2020 --- Scottsdale City Council votes to sue the FAA
JANUARY 2020 --- FAA says no to any changes, local cities and Indian Nations form coalition
DECEMBER 2019 --- FAA behind it's own timeline, Burien wins, LA sues twice
SEPTEMBER 2019 --- FAA admits flawed NextGen design process
AUGUST 2019 -- FAA is mum, Scottsdale thinking, Santa Cruz, CA progress
JUNE 2019 -- What's next; Fountain Hills weighs in; LA sues
MAY 2019 -- Reminder to send comments to the FAA
MAY 2019 -- City of Scottsdale proposals to the FAA
APRIL 2019 -- Step Two meeting information, talking points
MARCH 2019 -- Step Two meeting dates, who was here first, safer and more efficient
FEBRUARY 2019 -- Public servants sending letters to FAA
JANUARY 2019 -- Delay announced for FAA Step Two public workshop meetings
DECEMBER 2018 -- What the City of Scottsdale has done regarding NextGen
NOVEMBER 2018 -- How we hear noise
OCTOBER 2018 -- National updates
JULY 2018 -- Meetings with Federal and local elected officials
APRIL 2018 -- Definition of the problem, Mayor Lane meeting, HOA actions
SEE what's happening FROM OUR FACEBOOK PAGE:
RESIDENT ACTION NEEDED!
SCANA is asking residents to file complaints with the FAA each day for the month of November in an effort to aid the City with it's mediation talks with the FAA. To see the request and to find links to file complaints, CLICK HERE. 11/20
UPDATE: The FAA has advised that the simple link provided in our update has been deactivated. The detailed link is the only webpage available to file a FAA complaint. Please only use the detailed link.
Corrected update can be seen HERE.
HOW TO FILE AN FAA NOISE COMPLAINT:
1. CLICK HERE to go to the FAA webpage.
2. CLICK HERE to see instructions on how to fill out the form
CITY OF SCOTTSDALE AND FAA ONCE AGAIN EXTEND COURT DATES TO CONTINUE MEDIATION;
FAA INITIATES NEW WEBPAGE FOR NOISE ISSUES
On September 1st, an extension was filed with the U.S.Court of Appeals to postpone the dates briefings are due for the petition the City has filed against the FAA. The extension has moved the first due date to
January 11, 2021. The reason the extension was filed was that the parties are in mediation discussions and want more time to continue those talks. CLICK HERE for more details on the extension and a new webpage the FAA is offering. 10/20
CITY OF SCOTTSDALE CONFIRMS MEDIATION TALKS ARE UNDERWAY WITH THE FAA
In conversations SCANA has had with Scottsdale City officials, the City confirmed that it has been having mediation discussions with the FAA. The outcome of the discussions is yet unknown. Will they result in changes to alleviate the illegal flight paths the FAA placed over Scottsdale or will pending litigation ultimately be necessary?
CLICK HERE to read more. 9/20
SCOTTSDALE CITY COUNCIL APPROVES ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR LAW FIRM HANDLING FAA LAWSUIT
At it's August 24th meeting the Scottsdale City Council approved funding not to exceed $175,000 for the law firm of Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl, Inc. who is handling the City's Petition against the FAA. The City's ongoing commitment to support it's residents who are suffering from the FAA's illegal actions is appreciated and endorsed. 8/20
SCOTTSDALE'S LAWSUIT AGAINST THE FAA IS DELAYED AGAIN
The timeline for the FAA to respond has now been moved to October 16th. However, this time it was extended so that mediation between the parties can take place. CLICK HERE to read the details. 7/20
EXTENSIONS GRANTED IN THE SCOTTSDALE VS FAA LAWSUIT
The FAA has asked for and been granted extensions to respond to the City's petition. This will set back the progress of the lawsuit by several months. CLICK HERE to read the details. 5/20
CITY OF SCOTTSDALE CONTINUES WORK ON LAWSUIT AGAINST FAA'S NEXTGEN FLIGHT PATHS
The City is not letting the Covid virus slow down its efforts to move the law suit forward. CLICK HERE to read the update. 4/20
SCOTTSDALE NEWSPAPERS COVER FAA LAWSUIT
Two local Scottsdale newspapers, the Scottsdale Progress and the Scottsdale Independent have published stories regarding the City of Scottsdale's lawsuit against the FAA. You can read the articles by clicking below:
CLICK HERE for the Progress story
CLICK HERE for the Independent story
SCOTTSDALE FILES SUIT AGAINST FAA!
On March 10th, 2020, the City of Scottsdale filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals against the FAA's: "...January 10, 2020 decision not to take any further action to alleviate the noise and pollution impacts caused by the FAA's implementation of the flight procedures for Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport." The petition was filed after years of the City, SCANA and residents of Scottsdale attempting to communicate with the FAA to rescind NextGen flight paths that the Court previously found to be implemented illegally in a lawsuit brought by the City of Phoenix and Historic Districts. The FAA has refused to address the Scottsdale eastbound issues and slammed the door on any future hopes it would be open to flight path changes with its January 10th statement. SCANA and thousands of northeast valley residents applaud the City of Scottsdale for supporting its communities and acting to protect the Scottsdale lifestyle that it is known for and that residents purposefully sought out.
SCANA will keep apprised of information as to how and when the lawsuit proceeds. It is likely to be a lengthy process depending upon the FAA's and the Court's responses. Come back often to this site for the latest news as it is made available. 3/20
LOS ANGELES FILES DETAILED PETITION AGAINST THE FAA IN THE U.S. COURT OF APPEALS
The City of Los Angeles continued its suit against the FAA on February 26th. The petition claims the FAA did not conduct an environmental review it was legally bound to do and is asking the Court to remand three NextGen arrival routes at Los Angeles International Airport. In a Freedom of Information request, it claims the FAA could not produce any evidence that it conducted the review because a review was never conducted. To see the petition, CLICK HERE. 3/20
SCOTTSDALE CITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY VOTES TO MOVE AHEAD WITH FILING A LEGAL PETITION AGAINST THE FAA !
At the February 18th Scottsdale City Council Meeting, City Council members unanimously passed a resolution to file suit against the FAA regarding the Sky Harbor flight paths the FAA moved over Scottsdale five years ago without public notice, input or legal environmental review. After losing an identical action to the City of Phoenix and the Historic Districts in 2017, the FAA has refused any meaningful dialogue with Scottsdale, SCANA, Federal elected representatives and others regarding the flight paths not included in the settlement agreement negotiated from that law suit. The FAA ploy of stringing along the City and Scottsdale communities now comes to an end. Historically, the FAA has behaved as an arrogant and abusive federal agency that only rectifies it's illegal and capricious actions by order of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Unfortunately, the City's only option is to now seek such an order. It is expected that the City will first file a petition with the Court of it's legal action, then build it's case and legal team for Court hearings that will take place at some future date. While the City will most likely tag its suit onto the 2017 Court ruling that said all of the departure flight paths out of Sky Harbor were illegally implemented, we won't know the City's strategy until all legal briefs are filed. Until then, SCANA is appreciative and thankful to the City for supporting its residents and communities and taking action to restore the tranquil and safe environment its residents previously enjoyed. Please let the City know of your support by emailing the City Council members at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you Scottsdale!! 2/20
CITY OF SCOTTSDALE IS SEEKING CITY COUNCIL APPROVAL TO SUE THE FAA!!!
The Scottsdale City Council Agenda for the February 18th meeting includes item 20A that is asking for Council approval to file a petition against the FAA regarding the NextGen flight paths placed over the city by the FAA in 2014. SCANA and others have been urging the City to take legal action against the FAA after the FAA announced on January 10th it was taking no action to provide relief from the flight paths that an earlier Court action said were implemented illegally. SCANA is urging the Council to approve the resolution so that legal action can be commenced and the FAA held accountable for its illegal actions.
CLICK HERE to see the City Council Agenda. 2/20
SCANA PROVIDES STATEMENT TO MEDIA REGARDING THE FAA ILLEGAL FLIGHT PATHS AND POTENTIAL LEGAL ACTION
CLICK HERE to read the statement 2/20
SCANA SENDS EMAIL TO SCOTTSDALE CITY COUNCIL URGING THE CITY TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THE FAA
The email was sent on January 29th regarding the City Council's next meeting on February 4th. The Council Agenda has a discussion item for Executive session with City attorneys regarding advice on possible legal action against the FAA. Then, in it's regular meeting, there is an agenda item to approve a two year extension of the contract with Covington & Burling, the legal firm the City has engaged in the past to provide input and advice on the FAA issues. SCANA urged the Council members to approve the Covington contract and to pursue legal action against the FAA. Read the email HERE. 2/20
FAA PROVIDES COMMUNITY UPDATE; SAYS NO FLIGHT PATH CHANGES TO BE MADE FROM STEP TWO PROCESS AND REFUSES TO LOOK AT PROPOSED MITIGATION OPTIONS
The FAA updated it 's website January 10th and said the Step Two process was now complete per the Courts settlement agreement and it was NOT going to make any airspace changes other than the westbound issues the lawsuit identified. It said any consideration of other changes would be considered a "new action" and that it would continue dialogue with local stakeholders. The question is, what dialogue? The FAA has to date refused to have any dialogue with local stakeholders. The FAA also said that it is not going to pursue the "concepts" it presented at the April workshops and said the City of Scottsdale's proposal will not be considered because it is "unsafe". Just more subterfuge to attempt to avoid the fact that the Court of Appeals said ALL NextGen departures out of Sky Harbor were illegal. CLICK HERE for a link to the FAA website to read it's update. Make sure to read the Comments link.
READ OUR LATEST JANUARY 2020 EMAIL UPDATE HERE
AREA CITIES AND INDIAN COMMUNITIES BAND TOGETHER TO PRESS FAA FOR FLIGHT PATH CHANGES
The cities of Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Fountain Hills, and the Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation have joined forces to press the FAA to make changes to the Sky Harbor NextGen eastbound departure flight paths. The east valley consortium stated it supported the Preferred Alternative the City of Scottsdale presented the FAA last spring. The FAA shot down the proposal as stated in the previous update. CLICK HERE to read the jointly signed letter.
18 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS SEND LETTER TO FAA ASKING FOR DEVELOPMENT OF NEW FLIGHT PATHS AT AIRPORTS WITH NEXTGEN
PROCEDURES. 8 of the members were from California, 4 from Maryland, 2 from Massachusetts, 2 from New York, 1 from Washington and 1 from District of Columbia. None from AZ, so SCANA has asked AZ Congressional members to send their own letter.
CLICK HERE to read the letter. 1/20
FAA RESPONDS TO SCANA SAYING IT WILL POST AN UPDATE "SOON" ON ITS WESITE. CLICK HERE TO READ THE FAA EMAIL RESPONSE. 12/19
THE FAA IS IGNORING IT'S OWN PUBLISHED TIMELINE.
READ THE DECEMBER SCANA NEWSLETTER HERE. 12/19
CITY OF LOS ANGELES SUES THE FAA NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE REGARDING FLIGHT PATHS.
CLICK HERE for info on the first suit
CLICK HERE for info on the second suit 12/19
SCANA SENDS 2ND EMAIL TO FAA POINTING OUT THE FAA IS BEHIND IT'S OWN TIMELINES. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE EMAIL 12/19
SCANA SENDS EMAIL TO FAA DEMANDING IT TAKE ACTION TO RESPOND TO SCOTTSDALE RESIDENTS. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE EMAIL. 12/19
US. COURT OF APPEALS SIDES WITH BURIEN, WA IN LAWSUIT AGAINST FAA. CLICK HERE TO SEE ARTICLE.
NEW YORK TIMES WRITES ARTICLE ON FAA NEXTGEN PROBLEMS
Article describes the noise problems Scottsdale, and others, are having.
CLICK HERE to read the article.
CONGRESSIONAL QUIET SKIES COALITION SENDS LETTER TO FAA ADMINISTRATOR ASKING FOR ANSWERS ON MULTIPLE ISSUES
CLICK HERE to see the letter.
LAKE ARROWHEAD, CA residents to receive NextGen flight path relief from the FAA. Without legal action, the FAA is rerouting a path to unpopulated terrain. The FAA should provide this same relief to other communities.
CLICK HERE to read update.
FAA ADMITS TO EXCLUDING NOISE CONCERNS FROM NEXTGEN DESIGN PROCESS; ONLY CONCERN WAS "OPTIMIZATION"
In an audit conducted by the Transportation Departments Inspector General, the FAA response admits design parameters were singularly focused on optimization and nothing else.
CLICK HERE to read all the details and to read the actual audit report. Plus, the FAA finally responds to SCANA and the City of Scottsdale for a status update on last Aprils workshops.
Watch a Video of how NextGen was implemented at Burbank Airport
INTRODUCED 2020 APPROPRIATIONS BILL CONTAINS REQUIREMENT FOR THE FAA TO SUBMIT A NOISE REPORT
CLICK HERE to see the text of the requirement
The FAA's Acting Administrator Elwell responds to Senator Sinema's letter of 4/29/19 that expressed community engagement concerns re: eastbound flight paths.
CLICK HERE to see the Sinema letter.
CLICK HERE to see the Elwell FAA response.
THE FAA COMMENT PERIOD EXPIRED ON MAY 23RD
SEE THE COMMENT LETTER SCANA SENT THE FAA CLICK HERE
SCOTTSDALE CITY PROPOSALS
The City of Scottsdale has provided SCANA with advance notice of the proposed flight path changes the City plans on submitting to the FAA as described in the article at left. It is critical that concerned residents continue to submit comments to the FAA through May 23rd. We suggest residents submit comments in line with the SCANA suggestions that you can see HERE and/or talking points suggested by the City that you can see HERE. The City wants to generate support for its proposals from residents, elected representatives, SCANA supporters and others. It is hoped with significant support the FAA will be motivated to make substantive changes to ease the unfair burden of the environmental and safety impacts these flight paths have had on Scottsdale communities. The City will present the FAA with the JDA research and a white paper from the legal firm it has engaged, Covington Burling, for its official request for change.
After the comment period ends the FAA will review and categorize the comments received. SCANA will prod the FAA to make the ongoing process transparent so everyone will be informed of what to expect in the future and what the timelines will be.
As stated previously, SCANA is supportive of the City's modifications. While SCANA's recommendation to the FAA will add an addendum to them, as described at left, the City's recommendations, if enacted, would have a significant positive impact on Scottsdale communities.
SCANA'S SHORT TAKE ON THE FAA WORKSHOPS:
1. SCANA is pleased and appreciative that the FAA has opened dialogue on the northeast valley flight path issues.
2. Concept One is a move in the right direction but does not solve the enviromental and safety issues the three NextGen departure routes have created for our communiites.
3. Concept Two is welcomed and acceptable.
SCOTTSDALE PROGRESS COVERS FAA WORKSHOP MEETINGS
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ARTICLE
THE FAA WORKSHOPS ARE OVER, WHAT'S NEXT?
What can be expected now that the FAA workshops are finished? The FAA would not give a definitive answer to this question but the following is a likely scenario. First, the FAA will compile all the comments received at the workshops and from its website. It is critical that impacted residents submit on-line comments to the FAA to make their feelings known. Input from the City of Scottsdale, Maricopa County and all of our local and national elected representatives will also be critical. At some point, the FAA will decide if it is going to pursue implementation of the presented, or other concepts. The time frame and the process it will use to determine this answer was not disclosed. If the decision is made to pursue alternate routes, then it must begin a detailed process (CLICK HERE) to do so. This process is not quick. Depending upon the scope of the environmental review necessary, the time frame is likely measured in years, not months. Whether this process could be expedited would be a question that would have to be asked.
Why would this process take so long when the westbound departure routes were changed within months after the FAA lost the lawsuit with Phoenix? In the Phoenix case, nine departure routes were returned to their original paths. Consequently, new analysis and review was not necessary. The concepts presented at the workshops would be new routes, that would require going through an entire review process to establish new tracks. Could the northeast departures be reverted back to the original routes used before NextGen? Yes, that is in essence what SCANA has been proposing. The FAA did not address that option in the workshop meetings. Regardless, it is a solution that SCANA will continue to pursue.
While SCANA is pleased the FAA has opened dialogue concerning the issues in the northeast valley, we are far from an acceptable solution. Consequently, SCANA will continue its efforts to push the FAA for changes that will restore the environment to pre-NextGen levels.
THE FAA RESPONDS TO THE LAWSUIT THE STATE OF MARYLAND HAS FILED CHALLENGING NEXTGEN FLIGHT PATHS
The FAA has filed its Court response to the lawsuit filed by Maryland. See the update HERE.
SADLY, AIRLINE TRAGEDIES DO HAPPEN
In the last several months there have been three airline crashes involving Boeing 737's and a 767. While rare, airplanes are not perfect machines nor are pilots nor the weather they encounter. That is why SCANA is calling for the east bound departure paths out of Sky Harbor International Airport to be relocated from heavily populated residential communities in the northeast valley to unpopulated mountain terrain where they used to be before the FAA carelessly moved them. Can you imagine the additional devastation from a plane going down in a residential community? Having this safety issue addressed after a potential event is too late. Action is needed now.
WATCH THE VIDEO OF REPRESENTATIVE LYNCH OF MASSACHUSETTS CRITICIZING NEXTGEN TO A MS. YOUNG FROM THE FAA.
Please skip to 1:20 of the video to avoid his comments on an unrelated issue. His comments of flying the planes over the water are analogous to SCANA saying "fly the planes over the mountains".
CLICK HERE to watch the video
The Scottsdale Coalition for Airplane Noise Abatement (SCANA) is working to restore the quiet and peaceful skies that existed in Scottsdale before the FAA arbitrarily moved flight paths from decades long routes over unpopulated land to over heavily populated communities. SCANA supports our airports, airlines and the aviation industry. SCANA's goal is to hold the FAA accountable for the egregious error it made in moving these flight paths over formerly safe and tranquil neighborhoods without regard for the public's safety, lifestyle and property value impacts.
It is possible for the FAA to restore ground safety from potential aviation mishaps and to provide community wide quiet skies while continuing to assure navigational and airport efficiency. This can be achieved through a constructive and collaborative effort with officials at the federal and local level and concerned stakeholders like SCANA, to cause the FAA to make these changes..
SCANA is striving to:
1. Require the FAA to move three (3) NextGen Sky Harbor northeast departing flight paths that were dangerously placed directly over densely populated Scottsdale communities to previous or other locations over unpopulated terrain
2. Require the FAA to move the east arrival flight route further south to its
near previous location
3. Then, require the FAA to return the Scottsdale Airport arrival and departure flight paths to their original routes prior to NextGen.
879 PEOPLE HAVE EXPRESSED SUPPORT FOR SCANA AND ITS MISSION