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WE DID NOT MOVE TO THE FAA, THE FAA MOVED TO US
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The Scottsdale Coalition for Airplane Noise Abatement (SCANA) is a group of concerned citizens in the Scottsdale and Northeast Valley who are working to make sure residents have a say on issues that impact ground safety, airplane noise and air pollution in our neighborhoods. SCANA's goal is to require
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. 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.
779 PEOPLE HAVE EXPRESSED SUPPORT FOR SCANA AND ITS MISSION
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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 email update archive:
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:
WANT TO SEE THE SKY HARBOR FLIGHTS GOING OVER YOUR HOME?
CLICK HERE to see the flight tracker showing all departing and arriving flights in and out of Sky Harbor.
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