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.