FAA and the airline industry have been implementing NextGen routes at major hub airports across the nation. Sadly, the routes are destroying neighborhoods, as the design process fails to properly consider how repetitive airplane noise patterns undermine peace and quiet, critical to residential quality of life. The focus instead is on tweaking airline profits upwards: maximizing ‘runway throughput’ by removing decades-old noise abatement procedures at all airports.
FAA’s role in this mess is two-fold: to provide cover for the industry’s profit goals, and to nurture a public perception that the federal government supports these changes. FAA’s more traditional role has always been said to be aviation safety (though even that is debatable, when you look closely at the FAA track record). It is due to this aviation safety role that FAA mandates all airlines conduct a sufficient briefing, the scripted event we all experience on each commercial passenger flight just prior to taking off.
Of course, as defined by past Congresses, one of FAA’s ‘other roles’ is to manage aviation environment impacts. Perhaps FAA should mandate pre-impact briefings for the millions of citizens being impacted by NextGen changes. In that spirit, here is a card produced by one of the many creative NextGen victims impacted in the Phoenix area, where two of the final four major airlines, American and Southwest, operate huge through-passenger-sort facilities, aka ‘hubs’:
Shouldn’t FAA brief Congress, and all of us homeowners nationwide, so we can Brace for the Noise Impact that NextGen is?