Controversial Routing Change Would Send More Planes Over
Opponents to a controversial
flight path routing shift -- which, if enacted, would send
airliners departing from five northeastern airports over homes in
several Connecticut communities -- accused the FAA Tuesday of
withholding vital information in gauging the overall impact of that
The Stamford (CT) Advocate reports area residents said the FAA
hasn't disclosed such information as altitude, aircraft types, or
the number of planes expected to fly over their neighborhoods, if
the routing change occurs. Without such information, residents say,
it's impossible for aviation consultants -- hired by the affected
communities -- to conduct environmental and noise impact studies of
"You can't use generalities," New Canaan resident -- and pilot
-- Guy Brossy told a panel of aviation experts during a meeting
Brossy accused the FAA of hindering efforts to determine the
impact of the routing change -- as well as attempting to stymie
potential lawsuits over the unpopular plan.
"When are you going to make all of the raw data available?"
Brossy asked FAA representatives in attendance.
Agency officials downplayed the accusations, replying that
specific information is difficult to provide. For example, only
average flight altitudes are available, as aircraft may be cleared
for differing altitudes over the area based on routing and traffic.
Weather is also a factor in how quickly planes can climb out.
"We're not trying to cover anything with smoke and mirrors
here," said FAA airspace redesign manager Steve Kelley.
As Aero-News reported,
several communities have joined forces to oppose the routing change
to flights departing from an area surrounded by JFK, LaGuardia,
Newark, and Philadelphia. The FAA states routing aircraft over
parts of Fairfield County would save 12 million minutes of delays
per year at area airports, compared to current routes over Putnam
and Westchester Counties in New York.
Despite assurances from agency officials, area residents
remained jaded to the FAA's honesty.
"It's a dog-and-pony show for just what they already decided to
do," said Greenwich resident Eric Lichtenstein.
In addition to LaGuardia traffic, residents said they were
concerned about an aspect of the plan that would allow planes
departing Westchester County Airport to turn back over northwestern
Greenwich as they climb.
Four more meetings are planned in the region, ahead of the May
11 deadline for comments on the plan. If enacted, the FAA says the
routing change could go into effect by August.