An amendment filed by U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and John McCain (R-AZ) to address airport noise pollution and flight path concerns of Arizona residents was approved by the U.S. Senate last week.
The amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill, approved unanimously by the Senate, addresses citizens’ concerns about flight path oversight at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport as well as airports nationwide. It verifies that communities and individual airports will be able to interface with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prior to any future flight path changes.
“Our amendment creates a long-awaited opportunity for residents around Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport negatively impacted by flight noise to have their voices heard by the FAA,” Flake and McCain said. “It establishes a process to have recent flight path changes reviewed by the FAA in an effort to identify ways to mitigate noise impacts on the community.”
Additionally, the amendment generates a procedure to review previous changes retroactively for those negatively impacted areas, requiring the FAA to confer with airports and take steps to alleviate adverse results.
“It also ensures that airports and local communities will be involved in future flight path decisions,” the senators said. “There’s no doubt that implementing new flight path changes as part of FAA’s NextGen program is important for enhancing passenger safety and increasing travel efficiency, but these changes shouldn’t be made without fully engaging the communities that will ultimately be affected.”