A Two-Hour NextGen Reprieve in Phoenix

A rainstorm rolled across Phoenix last Friday, and the FAA demonstrated that, if they want to, they can immediately change departure routes. To residents in the historic neighborhoods along Grand Avenue, to the northwest, the early turns provided a much quieter evening, a break from the hell FAA turned on last September 18th. But, to residents a couple miles to the east, the early turns helped them to directly understand why so many in Phoenix are so upset at FAA.
20150515at2112.. KPHX tweet re FAA altering flightpaths due to storms, numerous comments

Here are sample modified departures

The departure changes are depicted in the following three screen-captures from FlightAware; orange is the designed NextGen noise-impactful route, and green is the route flown during the weather event.

SWA1811, comparison 5-15 (green, WX) & 5-14 (orange) routes

When Southwest Flight 1811 to San Jose took off at 9:29PM, they were issued an immediate right turn and flown through the middle of the painted intense weather (yellow). Flights to San Jose normally go due west, the way departures did before last September’s NextGen implementation (orange line).

20150517.. comparison of JBU602 KPHX-KBOS, 5-14 (orange) vs 5-15WX (green)

JetBlue Flight 602 took off at 10:29PM, via the YOTES2 on a redeye flight for Boston. Like all others during the two hours, the crew made an immediate right turn (green) and created a noise impact zone roughly two miles east of the normal route (orange).

20150515at2114.. AAL436 KPHX-KSFO, full route view &WX

One of the first reroutes was at 9:14PM, American Flight 436 to SFO. Note that after rushing to depart into the weather, the flight was issued a delay loop and additional delay vectors for sequencing at SFO, where there was a normal arrival flow (averaging 35 per hour) onto parallel runways, and a cloud layer at 1,500 feet. So much for NextGen.

Normal operations resumed two hours later…

…which begs the question (in the tweet below): if FAA can safely and efficiently modify departing flights to deal with a rainstorm, as they did last Friday, why can’t they modify departing flights to fix the NextGen NOISE STORM they have created?20150515at2313.. KPHX tweet re FAA resumes normal noisy flightpaths, 2comments