Have you noticed more planes, lower flying planes, and planes late at night?
The citizens, schools and local businesses surrounding the Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) airport have noticed a significant increase in aircraft noise, resulting from lower flight paths, higher flight frequency and shorter plane intervals over the past two years. So much so that it disrupts the quality of life such as negatively impacting sleep, outdoor activities, and the very peace and tranquility of the surrounding communities.
Based on a similar observations across other localities it appears that the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) implementation of a computerized air traffic control system known as NextGEN is a major contributor to the issues noted above. This system was designed to cut down on flight times, reduce fuel consumption, reduce emission and pollution and deliver savings to the airline industry. But the system was implemented haphazardly, without proper study and public comment. This system was implemented at BWI in November 2014.
Since its implementation at BWI, noise complaints have jumped by 121 percent from 835 noise complaints in 2014 to 1,849 noise complaints in 2015. In addition to BWI, increased noise complaints resulting from implementing NextGEN technology have been reported near airports in Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Phoenix, and New York.
According to public records, this system was implemented without proper environmental review and without the coordination and comment of affected communities. We fully support BWI airport, private and commercial airlines and especially every effort to reduce pollution and increase efficiency in transportation, however, not to the detriment of our quality of life.
Although a national problem, the citizens of communities surrounding BWI airport are petitioning local government representatives, the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) and the FAA to:
Temporarily return the approach and departure flight paths to pre-NextGEN altitudes and timings until the following have been completed:
a. Perform a proper environmental impact assessment of the NextGEN Metroplex system,
b. Work with community representatives to develop a mutually agreeable plan to manage noise, pollution and predicted air traffic growth, and
c. Allow for public comment and response.
Thank you for your support in affecting this change for our communities and our children. For more information, please visit http://nextgennoise.org
Eastport Civic Association
P.O. Box 3539
Annapolis, MD 21403
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