[ARCHIVE] 2015-06-22: The Investigation of the KPHX NextGen Departure Procedures Implementation

One of FAA’s most colossal debacles in their rush to implement NextGen procedures happened at Phoenix. The core of that failure was in the new ‘early-turn’ departure procedures, starting on September 18, 2014. FAA’s failures included:

  • they were biased by too much pressure to implement routes, under tight deadlines, so as to show Congress they were making progress (critically needed to secure additional funding);
  • they applied the newly approved ‘categorical exclusion’ (CatEx), which FAA and industry had slid through Congress, to justify doing no meaningful environmental impact assessments;
  • they focused their interaction with Phoenix airport officials onto one low-level employee, who was vastly outnumbered and easily swayed by the unanimity of the other meeting attendees, all of whom were declaring there would be no significant impacts;
  • and, as is happening around the country, FAA simply went too far: i.e., they gave too much away to the airlines, so as to get them on board (and, most importantly, ensure they would not ‘confuse’ Congress with any industry opposition to the huge NextGen project).

All of this was revealed in June 2015, when Eric Smith issued the following 22-page investigative report. Mr. Smith was the principal investigator working for Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell LLP, a legal office specializing in large projects, including aviation noise issues. Attached to the report were 25 Exhibits. Copies have been archived at aiReform.com. All of the exhibits are listed in the table at the bottom of this post and may be viewed (or downloaded) by clicking on the blue links.

This pop-out view is scrollable, and the PDF copy may be downloaded.

Exh. 1 20120803 – PECM Report week ending 8-3-2012 (J.Ross memo, 9p)
Exh. 2 20141204 – ‘Timeline to RNAV Departure Communication to PHX’ (3p)
Exh. 3 20141204 – PHX Aviation Dept Response to Arizona Republic article (1p)
Exh. 4 All OrgCharts for PHX Aviation Dept. & PECM Dvsn, 1-4-2012 thru 11-6-2014 (22p)
Exh. 5a 20130108 – Study Team Process & Schedule for KPHX OAPM (L.Bertke, slideshow, 32p)
Exh. 5b 20130108 – Study Team Kickoff for KPHX OAPM (M.Barnhart, slideshow, 10p)
Exh. 5c 20130108 – Program Overview for KPHX OAPM (D.Roberts, slideshow, 14p)
Exh. 6 20130308 – PECM Weekly Report for Week Ending 3-8-2013 (J.Ross copy, 6p)
Exh. 7 20130228 – Second Outreach for KPHX OAPM (slideshow, 134p)
Exh. 8 20130403 – Final Outreach for KPHX OAPM (slideshow, 144p)
Exh. 9 20130419 – FAA Study Team Final Report for KPHX OAPM (90p)
Exh. 10 20130821 – ‘RNAV Departure Implementation at PHX’ (memo, 1p text & 8p plots)
Exh. 11 20130823 – ‘RNAV Departure Implementation at PHX’ (J.Davies presentation, 18p)
Exh. 12 20130822rcvd – Undated copy of FAA Letter to SHPO, seeking concurrence on proposed changes (C.Desing signature, 3p & 9p att)
Exh. 13 20130826 – SHPO Concurrence (stamped on FAA’s Letter to SHPO, C.Desing signature, 3p & 9p att)
Exh. 14 20130910 – RNAV Departures briefing, attendance required (J.Ross copy of e-memo, 1p)
Exh. 15 20130910 – ‘RNAV Departure Implementation at PHX’ (J.Davies presentation, 18p)
Exh. 16 20130909 – FAA’s Air Traffic Initial Environmental Review’ (Phoenix TRACON, C.Poyurs signoff at p.20, 67p)
Exh. 17 20140415 – City of Phoenix City Council Policy Session (7p)
Exh. 18 2013116 – KPHX Noise Exposure Map Update – Planning Advisory Committee Meeting #3
Exh. 19 20140213 PAUWG Meeting Minutes (4p)
Exh. 20 20140311 FAA Errata for IER for the PHX RNAV SIDs and STARs
Exh. 21 20140311 – FAA Memo to File RNAV, CATEX validations (C.Poyurs, 255p)

…NOTE: the file is 121Mb, too large for WordPress, so the link points to the original Phoenix webpage file. The link was valid as of 10/28/2015. An archived copy of the PDF file is also available via request to aiReform.com.
UPDATE, 4/13/2016: — The Skyharbor link to this oversized exhibit was removed by airport authorities, so Exh. 21 was divided into four parts, to allow uploading to the aiREFORM website. Part 1 (pgs. 1-13); Part 2 (pgs. 14-80); Part 3 (pgs. 81-145); Part 4 (pgs. 146-255)
Exh. 22 20140508 PAUWG Meeting Minutes (3p)
Exh. 23 20140814 PAUWG Meeting Minutes (4p)
Exh. 24 20140904 RNAV DEP Implementation, Director’s Staff Meeting (slideshow, 10p)
Exh. 25 20140904 – ‘RNAV PR’ briefing, attendance required (J.Ross copy of e-memo, 1p)

Note that each Exhibit is viewable as a scrollable PDF file, in the pages that follow.

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