Boston & NextGen: The Impacts Continue Unabated

“…part of a congressionally mandated, nationwide program ‘that is modernizing the nation’s air traffic control system to make it even safer, greener, and more efficient’….”

– FAA spokesperson Jim Peters

When it comes to spin and propaganda, the most dangerous FAA employees are the mouthpieces: the FAA Administrator (and a few lesser officials who speak at industry luncheons, conferences, conventions and other events), and the public affairs ‘spokespeoples’ (sic). People like Jim Peters, quoted above, in this recent Boston Globe article about NextGen and noise impacts.

click on the image below to view a copy of the article in a scrollable PDF file…

Saying the right thing (and ONLY the right thing!) is critical, to pull off intended manipulated outcomes. So, there is an emphasis on creating and using key phrases, repeated over and over again – quite similar to the manipulative methods we see employed by candidates and their spin-meisters, during major elections. In fact, most FAA employees are strongly conditioned to say nothing, and defer to the mouthpieces. Even written correspondence routinely has to pass through a hierarchy of multiple desks, with everyone initialing off in the ‘grid’ on the cover page. Call it what it is: a culture of fear.

This latest Boston Globe article is fairly good, as it does lay out the problems created by NextGen. But, as is so common, it also provides FAA/industry with a chance to further promote, by inserting pro-NextGen phrases. Here is a table listing the pro-NextGen points, included within this Boston Globe article:

Page 1, paragraph 1: “… and the agency responsible for the decrease energy-saving policy…”
Page 1, paragraph 2: “… FAA has said the Next/Gen satellite-based navigation system is designed to decrease jet fuel consumption and increase safety by making the sky routes more efficient.”
Page 2, paragraph 7: “…Lynch said he understood that the new flight paths increased fuel efficiency and “the industry is probably saving a lot of money by having these planes fly the optimum route…”
Page 2, paragraph 9: “FAA spokesman Jim Peters said the flight paths are part of a congressionally mandated, nationwide program “that is modernizing the nation’s air traffic control system to make it even safer, greener, and more efficient.”
Page 2, paragraph 10: “He said the program reduces air traffic delays and cuts the amount of fuel used by aircraft, and as a result reduces carbon emissions into the atmosphere.”
Page 2, paragraph 11: “The FAA is working with Massport and the Logan Airport Community Advisory Committee to develop a runway-use system that will provide relief from noise while adhering to FAA safety and operational requirements, Peters said.”
Page 2 paragraph 12: Massport spokeswoman Jennifer Mehigan: “The airport and the FAA have worked together to reduce noise in communities, and we will continue to do so.”

Note that these alleged benefits, none of which are proven true, originated with the FAA/industry ‘collaboration’, aimed at dressing up NextGen and selling it to Congress and the general public. Just a lot of unsubstantiated greenwash, paid for using the billions FAA takes from airline passengers each year. And the alleged cooperation, between FAA and the airport and community groups? Routinely, this is just a show, done for appearances, not to solve real problems. Articles such as this show that FAA is a failing agency, out of control and serving only the industry it refuses to regulate.

Recent Articles about Climate Change

On November 6th, President Obama announced his decision to kill Phase IV of the Keystone XL Pipeline. In announcing his decision, President Obama said: “Ultimately, if we’re going to prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky.”

In the wake of President Obama’s decision, there has been a flood of articles focusing on the key reason behind that decision: human-caused climate change.

Here are short summaries and links to five recent articles:


20151117scp... 'Obama, keep some fossil fuels in the ground'

Climate activist Bill McKibben puts into perspective President Obama’s evolution from a fossil fuel advocate to potentially become a leader of climate action. McKibben offers a fair analysis of the politics that delay responsible climate action. He then expresses his hope that we may be accelerating toward real climate action: “Four years ago neither Obama nor Romney even mentioned climate change during their presidential battle. This year Bernie Sanders has made it one of the two centerpieces of his campaign (alongside inequality), and he’s skillfully pulled Hillary Clinton along with him.”

When we are not being bullied by climate-deniers, it becomes clear that climate change is widely accepted in the science community. Among the earliest impact manifestations of anthropogenic climate change, we are now recording rising temperatures in both the atmosphere and the oceans. In just the past few decades, scientists have come to understand the El Niño / La Niña cycles that would cause fluctuating weather patterns even without our off-the-charts atmospheric CO2. 20151117scp.. 'El Nino & Climate Change' (Ecowatch post) In a World Meteorological Organization press release, WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud stated: “Our scientific understanding of El Niño has increased greatly in recent years. However, this event is playing out in uncharted territory. Our planet has altered dramatically because of climate change—the general trend towards a warmer global ocean, the loss of Arctic sea ice and of over a million square kilometers of summer snow cover in the northern hemisphere.”

Just hours after the second televised Democratic Party debate, Senator Bernie Sanders was interviewed on ‘Face the Nation’. The interviewer asked him to further clarify the connection between climate change and the social instability and forced migration that can increase terrorism. “When people migrate into cities and they don’t have jobs, there’s going to be a lot more instability, a lot more unemployment, and people will be subject to the types of propaganda that al Qaeda and ISIS are using right now.” It is important to note that this is not just a Presidential candidate and Progressive leader speaking; this belief has also been expressed by both the CIA and the U.S. Defense Department.


20151117cpy.. coal strip mine pic.pgOn November 4th, Senator Jeff Merkley (Oregon) introduced S.2238, the ‘Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground Act of 2015’. Cosponsors included Bernie Sanders (Vermont), Patrick Leahy (Vermont), Ben Cardin (Maryland), Barbara Boxer (California), Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), and Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts). The legislation aims to stop endless government giveaways of oil, coal, and other resources, both offshore and under government lands, so as “… to prevent the release of 90 percent of the potential emissions from Federal fossil fuels.”

20151117scp.. 'Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground Act' w map of U.S. fossil fuel locations

(click on image to view article at


20151117cpy.. nyemeltdownIn a 44-minute video posted online by the National Geographic Channel, Bill Nye pretends to be a typical person worried about climate change, visiting with his shrink, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The therapy session is both amusing and informative. ‘Dr. Schwarzenegger’ suggests that his troubled patient is suffering from ‘Climate Change Grief’, and needs to progress through the five classic stages of grief:

  • Stage 1: Denial (starts at video time 3:03)
  • Stage 2: Anger
  • Stage 3: Bargaining
  • Stage 4: Depression, and
  • Stage 5: Acceptance.

Unfortunately, late on the morning of November 17th, during this writer’s review of the video, National Geographic decided to block free online access (hmmm, feels like Stage 4?). Maybe Bill Nye has put together an outstanding presentation, which could help more people begin to fully understand the gravity of our changing climate situation. We may never know. But, if the whole video is as good as the first ten minutes, let’s hope National Geographic will do a good deed for the Earth, and remove the paywall, restoring free online access that can encourage more people to learn and take action. In the meantime, this link does offer a brief slideshow.

Senate Unanimously Passes Amendment to Address NextGen’s CATEX Flaw

Out of a clear blue Arizona sky – the kind best enjoyed while soaking in the vast silence at Grand Canyon – Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake introduced a 3-page amendment aimed at repairing NextGen noise impacts. The Senate promptly passed the amendment, by a unanimous vote. Here is a copy of a McCain Press Release:

20151118scp.. Senate Unanimously agrees to McCain-Flake Amendment (Sen.J.McCain Press Release)750px

(click on image to view the Press Releases page at Senator McCain’s website)

The amendment was thus added to the 2016 THUD Appropriations bill, HR2577. The Senate is expected to make their final vote on the full bill, perhaps within a week. It will then need to obtain House approval of the amendment (and any other changes) before it can become law.

‘THUD’ stands for ‘Transportation, Housing & Urban Development, and Related Agencies’. In other words, this single piece of legislation covers FAA and all other units of the Department of Transportation (highways, rail, maritime, pipelines, etc.), AND ALSO INCLUDES public housing, community grants, and other vast programs under the Department of Housing & Urban Development. Therefore, it is not surprising that, of the eighty amendments tabulated on the webpage, only a few have to do with FAA.

A close look at the FAA-related amendments suggests, in most cases, each proposal was simply to make a statement of protest against a specific agency expenditure or action. Many of these proposals also appear to be a sort of ‘grandstanding’ on narrow issues, perhaps to make a good impression on voters back home. Interesting, too, is that the last surge of amendments was on June 9th, and then there were no additional amendments for more than five months. The ONLY subsequent amendment, 160-days after House passage, was the McCain/Flake amendment, which was quickly passed by a voice vote, and with no votes against.

According to the HR 2577 webpage at, the bill was introduced on 5/27/2015, passed by the House of Representatives on 6/9/2015, and reported to the Senate on 6/25/2015.

The amendment applies only to the busiest U.S. commercial airports, known as the OEP-35 Airports. (this aiREFORM webpage provides a list of all OEP-35 airports, notes their operational trends, and includes links to webpages with information about each airport)

It is important to recognize that the rush to implement NextGen was not needed, as U.S. commercial airline operations have declined substantially (and fairly steadily) for most of the past 15-years. The data showing this is viewable year-by-year, for each OEP-35 airport, at this aiREFORM webpage: Total Annual Operations & Trends for FAA’s OEP-35 Airports, 1990-2014. Or, here is the data presented graphically, and linked to an informative presentation by Katana Consulting.

(click on the image to view the 'Real Impact of NextGen' presentation video by Katana Consulting)

(click on the image to view the ‘Real Impact of NextGen’ presentation video by Katana Consulting)

Three Questions…

We certainly owe a ‘thank you’ to Senator McCain for finally taking this action, and we hope the eventual legislation, if passed, will quickly produce noise relief at places like Phoenix, Flushing, Charlotte and Palo Alto (and, the botched NextGen implementations are also impacting Chicago, Boston, Seattle, and other communities). But, as a career elected official, Senator McCain (and other Senators) should also welcome hard questions about his actions. The facts behind this latest action beg three such questions:

  1. Why was this proposal not made five months ago? It was quickly approved after it was offered, so it seems plausible that many different Senators (from both parties, and from numerous states) might have offered this amendment proposal as early at last June, to potentially accelerate relief for the thousands of impacted people. The most likely Senators would be those with the largest numbers of NextGen victims, and at locations with intense media coverage and even legal actions against FAA. These Senators would include: Schumer or Gillibrand (NY), Feinstein or Boxer (CA), Warren and Markey (MA), and of course, McCain and Flake (AZ). Each of these Senators would have served their constituents well, if they pushed this proposal last June or July. Why so long without any progress? Has the evidently bipartisan failure to serve constituents become this stark? Is this further evidence that U.S. Senators today serve money, not people?
  2. Was the timing of this amendment proposal connected to Senate discussion on the Syrian Refugee crisis? On the same day that McCain introduced his amendment, and in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Senators were cuing up with their positions on our national role, whether to accept or block Middle Eastern refugees. McCain was quoted in an article at, insisting there was no connection, while also referring to his differences with the White House. This echoes a similar situation two years ago, when a rift developed within Republican ranks, on the issue of authorizing air strikes in Syria. Then, too, both McCain and Flake were on the hawk end of the spectrum, while newer Senators (and Presidential candidates) Rubio and Paul were on the dove end, questioning the U.S.’s role and use of force. It seems that a seasoned politician may well understand, when you are about to do something unpopular, doing something positive may help to diminish opposition. With this in mind, is it conceivable to think that our elected officials may appreciate agencies creating problems so that, when the timing is right, the elected official can become a quick and momentary hero?
  3. Is McCain cleaning up, perhaps trying to make amends for some of his past misdeeds? Back in 2012, this Senator, teaming up with Senator Harry Reid (NV), single-handedly stopped a carefully crafted proposal by the National Park Service to get air tourism noise impacts under control, at the Grand Canyon National Park. In so doing, McCain was capitulating to the profit-interests of Papillon, Maverick, and other helicopter operators, who make millions each year in these lucrative flights, while severely diminishing the quality of the experience for millions of park visitors.

So, what is REALLY driving FAA’s NextGen program? It is not safety or capacity. It is simply MONEY. As has happened time and again with FAA, they scheme up ways to sell a new program, to get Congress to pay out more money, which then benefits FAA employees as well as the industry. Contractors, manufacturers, the airlines and other so-called ‘stakeholders’ all get a piece of the pie in exchange for not opposing the wasteful congressional handout. And, in a few years, yet another round of slush-slinging will follow.

Some would call it a fraud that is generating waste as well as excess aviation noise, an irresponsible action by an unaccountable FAA that is destroying neighborhoods around the nation. It would be nice if the current Presidential candidates in both major parties would start to debate how to repair the ongoing performance failures at FAA.

UPDATE, 11/20/2015: — Just a few hours after this aiREFORM Post was published, an Airport Legislative Alert by AAAE was posted by the Phoenix airport management. The title of the Alert was ‘Senate Halts Consideration of DOT-FAA 2016 Appropriations’, and it discussed the many political maneuvers underway, all related to the Syrian refugee crisis.
UPDATE, 11/24/2015: — Hoping to accelerate resolution of this problem (which began 14-months ago!), a letter was sent to the U.S. Senate, signed by all Phoenix councilmembers and the mayors of Phoenix and other nearby communities.

See also… (blue dates link to online content)

FAA Modernization & Reform Act of 2012
REFERENCE – a copy of the 145-page Public Law-112-95. CATEX is discussed in Section 213.
¡¿Happy Earth Day, Mr. Huerta?!
Blog Post – After FAA had the audacity to post on their Facebook Page on the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, dozens submitted comments. A Post was created by aiREFORM, firing back at FAA’s hypocrisy and archiving copies of those reader comments.

Finally! … a Fair Article about NextGen Impacts!


“…Over and over again, it’s like a stab in your brain….”

– a resident of Palo Alto, describing FAA’s NextGen Impact on her home

Thank You, Los Angeles Times, for your article about FAA’s NextGen impacts in the Bay Area. You got it right.

There are many articles being published about these NextGen impacts nationwide, particularly at Phoenix, at Boston, and around New York City’s LaGaurdia and JFK airports. This article did not go so far as to reveal the NextGen fraud FAA is pulling, with their greenwashing the public and manipulating Congress to spend billions, but it is truly one of the best articles yet. The reporter actually looked into the situation and compiled her own story, instead of lazily posting the pre-spun talking points that FAA and the industry provide. And, critically, the article was published without being re-spun by editors catering to FAA/industry money and power … a democracy-killing problem at most of today’s news outlets.

With their botched NextGen implementations and tone-deaf arrogance, FAA is making itself the poster child of failed federal agencies. A captured agency, serving only the industry they were created to regulate, while also destroying quality of life for the masses. This must end. We are long overdue for real FAA reform, with full accountability and transparency.

A short video, posted by Save Our Skies Santa Cruz, showing the impact on people, south of San Francisco…

Is Santa Monica Failing to Warn People about Lead Impacts?

The fight continues in Santa Monica, with city officials pressing FAA to let them take back local control of their airport. Mayor McKeown and the City Councilmembers have held many good sessions, allowing citizens to voice their concerns. The availability of documents and videos online has also been impressive, almost a model for other communities to follow. But, the performance of others within the city government has fallen short in some areas. One of these failures has to do with alerting the general public about the health hazards of lead pollution caused by the combustion of leaded aviation fuel.

KSMO.20151116cpy.. Promo for use of Airport Observation Decks

(Screen-capture of a city webpage promoting use of two observation decks. Although a settlement agreement in late 2014 included posting signs on the airport “…at conspicuous locations likely to be seen by the general public…,” NO SIGNS ARE POSTED at this observation deck.)

Lead is a serious neurotoxin, particularly damaging to growing children. The federal government began phasing lead out of paint and automobile fuels in the early 1970s, and by the end of 1995 lead was no longer sold in automobile gas. The same was supposed to happen in aviation. Instead, twenty years later, in 2015 small planes in the U.S. continue to run primarily on 100LL AvGas, the low-lead fuel FAA has failed to clean up.

Not insignificantly, there are even thousands of new small aircraft that have all been manufactured after automotive fuel lead disappeared in 1995. Instead of removing lead from fuel, in the early 1990s, FAA worked hard to foster development of an entire new industry sector: the ‘homebuilt’ or ‘kit’ airplane, such as the Van’s RV models. Most of the new kit planes run on new engines burning the same dangerous fuel: 100LL AvGas. Consequently, aviation today has become the largest source of lead air pollution in the United States.

In 2011, took legal action against the leaded AvGas problem at California airports. After three years of legal wrangling, a settlement was struck: a court-enforced Consent Decree in which FBO’s (fixed base operators) selling AvGas at 24 California airports agreed to pay a fine, and the airports also agreed to perform public notifications. They were required to mail printed notices to all residences within one kilometer of the airport, and also required to post 24″ by 24″ signs warning about the lead hazard. The language of both the mailing and the warning signs conforms with California’s Prop 65.

(the text for lead hazard warning signs, as required by the consent decree in the legal action.)

(the text for lead hazard warning signs, as required by the Consent Decree in the legal action.)

The signage requirements were clearly laid out within the Consent Decree:

KSMO.20151116cpy.. Prop65 Lead warning sign, size & placement

(the sign placement requirements within the Consent Decree, with an emphasis on ensuring they would be seen by the general public.)

Logically, a lead hazard sign would have been placed at the observation deck, as in the picture above, where a dad has taken his two young children. This is a location close to the aircraft operational area, and a location where visitors can learn and make informed decisions.

(the best SDanta Monica could do was to place the sign above an ash tray, at an FBO's designated smoking area.)

(the best location Santa Monica officials would allow was to place the sign above an ash tray, at an FBO’s designated smoking area.)

So, what happened at Santa Monica? It appears that airport officials would not fully cooperate with the parties ( and the settling fuel dispensers). This meant that, in accordance with paragraph 2.1.1(c) of the Consent Decree, the FBOs were to place the signs on their own leased properties, at the location “…most likely to be seen by the general public.” In this picture, at one of the Santa Monica FBOs, the Prop 65 lead warning is on a fence, deep within the secure portion of the airport — above the ash tray, in the smoking area for the FBO!

Really? Yes. And so, with the city’s website, the city encourages parents to bring their children to the airport, and some city officials (such as the airport director) are careful to protect them from the knowledge of lead exposure. They ensure that the lead impact warning sign is across the field, where visitors will never see it: just above the cigarette butts nobody wants to be near, in an FBO smoking area.

Considering the great fight city officials are waging, trying to deal with an intransigent FAA, trying to regain local control of the airport and serve the local citizens, it really seems like a no-brainer. Mayor McKeown and the other Councilmembers need to issue an order to the airport officials: place lead warning signs at the most impactful location, the observation decks.

See also… (blue dates link to online content)

Why No CA Prop 65 warning at SMO Observation Deck?
WEBPAGE – A detailed assessment by CRAAP, with many links to background materials about lead impacts

[QUOTE]: An Editorial about FAA Arrogance, Congressional Failure, and Airline Greed



“…As has been quite clear from the work being done by concerned residents on the Peninsula and elsewhere around the nation, getting heard is not the problem. An arrogant federal agency has simply ignored the input and protests, including those from our local members of Congress….”

– a comment, within a Palo Alto Weekly editorial, posted 11/13/2015


The editorial shows zero confidence in Congress, and concludes that heavier political pressure needs to bear upon both the White House and FAA: “The slow, virtually moribund legislative process isn’t the answer. Hard ball politics is.” The author may be correct.

Click here to read the original Editorial. Be sure to also read the comments. Some comments are by the same-old pro-aviation hacks who heartlessly deny the problems, sometimes even attacking FAA’s noise-victims as NIMBYs. Other comments, such as the specific solutions (with links) proposed by Peter Carpenter, are truly constructive, and very thought-provoking.

The bottom-line is this: NextGen is a tool with real positive potential, being abused by an agency with negative intentions, serving only the industry. But, NextGen can be configured to serve both aviation AND airport neighbors. This will only happen if somehow, by pressure from Congress or the White House, FAA is compelled to do their job with true balance. The two legislative proposals, by Representatives Gallego and Meng, are both designed to restore the balance that FAA has knowingly stripped away. We need more local control, and more meaningful oversight from OUTSIDE the captured agency we call FAA.

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego Introduces ‘FAA Community Accountability Act’

20151105scp.. Rep.R.Gallego Introduces FAA Community Accountability Act

(click on image to view Press Release at Representative Gallego’s congressional website)

The FAA Community Accountability Act, introduced today, would:

  1. establish a new process to compel the FAA to reconsider existing flight routes that are exposing residents to unacceptably high levels of aviation noise;
  2. end the presumption under current law that flight paths implemented through the NextGen program may not follow pre-existing routes, even when these paths better reflect land use around the airport;
  3. designate a Community Ombudsmen to serve as effective, independent voices for airport communities within the agency;
  4. prevent the FAA from bypassing the environmental review process for new flight paths over the objections of local communities.

The original cosponsors (listed geographically) include:

  • Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ)
  • Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ)
  • Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
  • Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)
  • Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL)
  • Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA)
  • Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA)
  • Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
  • Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY)
  • Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY)
  • Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)
  • Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY)
  • Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA)
  • Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)

Here are some of the comments made during the introduction (emphasis added by

Rep. Ruben Gallego – “Last September, the FAA altered flight paths for aircrafts departing from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport. The changes were made without meaningful input or consultation with community members or civic leaders, and have caused severe noise disruptions that have lowered the quality of life for many members of my community. My bill would help address this problem in Phoenix and make sure that other communities across the country don’t suffer the same consequences of the FAA’s opaque decision-making process.”
Rep. Steve Israel (NY) – “Airplane noise continues to have a negative impact on the lives of my constituents in Queens and Nassau county. This bill will ensure that residents affected by airplane noise have a voice in urging the FAA to reconsider placing these noisy flight paths over their homes and communities.”
Rep. Mike Quigley (IL) – “My constituents back home in Chicago are facing unprecedented noise pollution from passing aircraft that is eroding their quality of life, lowering their property values, and impacting their health. But this is clearly not just a Chicago issue. Communities across the country are experiencing increased airplane noise, and it’s time for the FAA to be more accountable and responsive to their concerns. I’m proud to introduce the FAA Community Accountability Act with my colleagues to ensure that the voices of our constituents are heard before any changes to flight paths are considered.”
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ) – “Phoenix residents have every right to be frustrated, not only by disruptive noise from new flight paths but by the FAA’s unwillingness to listen. It shouldn’t have taken congressional action to find a solution, but if that’s what it takes then we’ll fight for these folks until the FAA is responsive and accountable.”
Rep. Don Beyer (VA) – “Our communities deserve greater input in the FAA’s processes to minimize airplane noise. I am proud to join Congressman Gallego in urging the FAA to be more inclusive in considering the impact of its flight paths”
Rep. Joseph Crowley (NY) – “Unfortunately, aircraft noise pollution isn’t merely a nuisance – it poses health risks, disrupts student learning and drowns out the joys of daily life. Our airports will never be perfect neighbors, but we can certainly work to make them better ones. I’m proud to join Congressman Gallego in sponsoring this much-needed legislation that will go a long way in helping communities impacted by aircraft noise.”
Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (MA) – “Many of the towns and neighborhoods that I represent are close to Logan Airport and the residents in our area have faced a huge increase in airplane noise and a total lack of responsiveness from the FAA. Some of these citizens and taxpayers have 500 planes fly directly over their homes each day – and they deserve to have their voices heard and they are entitled to some relief. I am proud to cosponsor Congressman Gallego’s bill, which will demand accountability and create a dialogue between these affected communities and the FAA.”
Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (CA) – New flight paths associated with implementation of the FAA’s NextGen satellite-based navigation program have caused major increases in aircraft noise. For thousands of Americans, including so many throughout my congressional district, a family conversation at the dinner table, sitting outside, or trying to sleep have all been disrupted because of the roar of jet engines overhead. I’m proud to be part of the effort to resolve this untenable situation by introducing the FAA Community Accountability Act, which requires the FAA to work with local communities and limit noise impacts when planning and implementing new flight paths with NextGen. This legislation can mitigate unacceptable high levels of aircraft noise while continually modernizing our aviation system.”

This proposed legislation appears to be a very good step forward, needed to bring FAA and the airlines under control on their ‘out-of-control’ NextGen implementations. More elected officials need to advocate on behalf of the millions of people adversely impacted by NextGen.

Has YOUR Congressional representative signed on in support? For contact information, be sure to see the original press release at Representative Gallego’s website, or use this link and your zip code.


20151102scp.. Petition to FlyLess (changeorg, P.Wilde)

(click on image to view/sign petition at

The airlines – with lots of assistance from FAA and the aviation lobby groups – are constantly selling air travel, and always careful to do so only with a positive spin. So, they have the audacity to sell NextGen as ‘green’ and good for the environment, declaring it has no environmental impacts, yet this Av-Gov PR front completely ignores the clear impacts on neighborhoods from Phoenix to Flushing to Santa Cruz.

People do not have to accept this spin. Responsible people push back, helping us all to see ‘the whole picture’ … not just the good but also the bad of aviation.

Here is a recent petition at Academics are encouraged to get their school administrators to push for less air travel, eliminating unneeded trips and replacing many other formal interactions with the much greener alternative available using today’s advanced teleconferencing capabilities. While this petition is aimed at academics, certainly the idea of ‘electronic collaboration instead of air travel’ applies to business as well. And all of us should support this petition, to help facilitate long-overdue change.

Be sure to also see the well-written informational pages connected to this petition:

NextGen: A Formal Complaint by Phoenix Neighborhoods

It has now been more than 13-months since FAA implemented the impactful NextGen departures at Phoenix. Time and again since, concerns have been presented to FAA officials, by city officials as well as by thousands of impacted neighbors. Many voices and a whole lot of energy, even some formal legal actions, and yet FAA has been ineffective, and done nothing to mitigate the impacts.

Some of the formal actions have included:

  1. In early June, the city went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and filed a Petition for Review [article].
  2. On June 22nd, the counsel retained by the city [Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell LLP (KKR)], presented their 22-page Investigation of Phoenix New Departures Implementation. More than 900-pages of Exhibit documents were included in an assessment that revealed how FAA ramrodded their proposals through while quietly insisting there would be no significant impacts.
  3. FAA’s response to the Petition for Review: use publicly funded FAA lawyers to file legal papers, asking the courts to dismiss the City’s case.
  4. On July 30th, KKR filed an Opposition to FAA’s Motion to Dismiss.
  5. On July 31st, a second Petition for Review was filed at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. This time, petitioners included Story Preservation Association, Willo Neighborhood Association, Encanto-Palmcroft Historic Preservation Association, Roosevelt Action Association, and a number of individuals.
  6. By early October, local residents were becoming increasingly weary, and further losing trust in their elected officials. So, they filed a formal legal protest letter, in the form of a 14-page document sent to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and FAA Western Pacific Regional Administrator Glen Martin.

In the past year, people across the nation have begun to share their concerns about the NextGen impacts FAA continues to ignore. In a recent email exchange, here is what one East Coast NextGen victim (suffering near La Guardia and JFK airports) assessed, after reading a copy of the 10/7/2015 Phoenix complaint document:

“The petition alleges and documents an extraordinary amount of harm. A responsible public agency would immediately cease and desist. The damage, from the petition, is multifaceted, large, and widespread. The FAA clearly is neither responsible nor responsive to the well being of the public. The FAA response to complaints, in my experience, generally is pretense. The well being of the public is an environmental and health issue. Representative Grace Meng’s legislation should be promoted nationally!”

UPDATE, 11/2/2015: — A copy of the 7/31/2015 PFR was shared with aiReform, and added to the timeline above.

Video on Charles David Keeling & Mauna Loa

Concerns are growing that our excessive fossil fuel consumption and the related generation of CO2 is creating dangerous Climate Change. Aviation is arguably the most intense human activity when it comes to CO2 generation. The Keeling Curve is named for the scientist who developed the methodologies and began systematically tracking atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa, in the late 1950’s. Here is a short video with his story….

See also:
  • LINK – Wikipedia article on David Charles Keeling, 1928-2005
  • LINK – Wikipedia article on the Keeling Curve
  • LINK – a copy of Keeling’s biography, as published in 1998 (aiREFORM)
  • LINK – origins of the Keeling Curve, at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park  (aiREFORM)