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FAA drops plan to change flight patterns in region

WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration says it’s dropping plans to change flight patterns in the region.

A statement released by the FAA said the decision to drop the program known as Lazir B was “based on feedback from communities” around Reagan National Airport.

Ken Hartman, director of Montgomery County’s Bethesda-Chevy Chase regional center, said the decision won’t change the current noise level in the area.

In 2015, the FAA put in place a plan called “NextGen” that concentrated flights along a set flight path.

Hartman said that remains a problem.

“Every plane follows the same path, and you can imagine, if you live under that flight path, you’re getting the full impact,” he said.

Residents in number of Bethesda neighborhoods have complained about the noise, as did residents in Arlington, Virginia.

While the current level of aircraft traffic—and the noise it generates—isn’t slated for change by the FAA, Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner said that news of Lazir B’s cancellation was good news for affected residents.

“We were successful in staving off something that was going to make it even worse,” Berliner said.

The FAA statement also said that the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority added more members to the community group that works on noise issues at Reagan National Airport, and that the group is “developing a more comprehensive work plan to address community noise concerns.”

Here’s the full statement from the FAA:

The FAA has decided to terminate the proposed changes to DCA departure procedures known as “LAZIR B,” based on feedback from communities around the airport. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority recently added more members to the DCA Community Noise Working Group to provide broader representation from communities around the airport. The Working Group is developing a more comprehensive work plan to address community noise concerns. The FAA will continue to support the efforts of the Working Group.


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