A Matter of Trust

It was more than eight months ago that FAA implemented NextGenNoise upon the residents of Phoenix. Literally tens of millions of individual noise ‘events’, some impacting thousands of people at a time. People have lost sleep; teachers have had to pause mid-sentence so students could hear their lessons; neighbors have shared expletives (and stress) while losing trust in government; and, city officials have wasted hours trying to smooth the waters, and pleading with FAA officials.

FAA has not yielded even the slightest; the agency shows stone-faced indifference and just continues to blow an ill wind.

20150524scp.. window screamer in Matter of Trust video

“Shut Up!!”

All of this impact, all of this wasted energy and time, just to save the airlines roughly one million dollars per year by allowing earlier turns that slightly shorten west flow departures. It’s enough to make you want to lean out the window and scream!

20141016scp.. G.Martin folding his forearms to brace himself while reading FAA's statement re PHX NextGen

Glen Martin folding his forearms to get through his formal statement. (click on image to view a 2-minute clip and read the full transcript)

In Phoenix, the first opportunity for citizens to formally present their concerns directly to the FAA happened on October 16th. Glen Martin, FAA’s Regional Administrator, flew in from L.A. and sat through an FAA Community Outreach Meeting that lasted for more than two hours. The video is viewable online, and is well worth watching by anyone impacted by NextGen. It includes dozens of thoughtful (and sometimes passionate) comments by impacted local citizens.

Mr. Martin formally addresses the group in a 5-minute statement, between times 18:45 and 23:45 on the video. For more than 90-seconds, in the middle of this address, he reads the words on his paper and never looks up. Here is the short video clip (and transcript by aiREFORM). He implies FAA did an environmental analysis and says:

“…The results indicated that the project would not cause a significant increase…
(He pauses, cocks his head slightly, and raises his eyebrows slightly, showing his own disbelief at what he has been given to read)
He then squirms in his chair. The audience erupts with laughter and other calls of disbelief. He then folds his hands (in body language that says, ‘I’m going to get through this’) and continues reading. For more than ninety seconds, he just reads the paper and NEVER looks up.
“…a significant increase in noise for noise sensitive areas or result in other significant environmental impacts….”

A Matter of Trust

20150524scp.. Billy Joel singing 'Matter of Trust'Decades ago, in the streets of East Village (Lower Manhattan) and not far from LaGuardia [KLGA] (where NextGenHell is impacting residents in Flushing and other areas), Billy Joel created a video, ‘A Matter of Trust’. The song he had written was about love and relationships. In Phoenix or in Flushing, there is no love for FAA, and the relationship is one where the people deeply distrust and despise the federal agency that imposed NextGenHell. One line near the end of the song is especially resonant:

“…After you’ve heard lie upon lie,
there can hardly be a question of why…”

Let’s hope that Michael Huerta, Glen Martin, Carmine Gallo and a few others at FAA will take a quick look at both of these videos, and think, just for a minute:

“Is there anything FAA can do,
anything I CAN DO,
to help bring relief to impacted airport neighbors,
and to help restore trust in the FAA?”

 It’s a matter of Trust.