FAA, Phoenix negotiate plan to address noise pollution

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the city of Phoenix, and several historic neighborhood associations will work together to address noise from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

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The noise is the result of air traffic control procedures that the FAA implemented in September 2014. The changes were intended to improve safety and efficiency with new air traffic control technology.

The city and the neighborhood associations filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, asking for the procedures to be reviewed and claiming the changes caused increased noise. On Aug. 29, the court ruled that the satellite-based procedures must be cancelled.

Abolishing the procedures, however, results in limited departures from the airport. The FAA expressed concern about increased delays at the airport while it changes to air traffic procedures.

A two-step plan has been negotiated.

In step one, the FAA will create temporary instructions for departures to the west that would follow as closely as possible the pre-September 2014 routes. Before creating the plan, the FAA must engage in community outreach.

In step two, the FAA will create permanent instructions based on feedback and continued community outreach.

The city must support all community outreach efforts.

During both steps, the FAA must complete safety and environmental reviews.