Forum on December 3rd: “The Spirit of Rebellion Still Resides in Boston”

The ongoing NextGen impacts near Boston’s Logan International Airport [KBOS] resulted in HUGE attendance at a December 3rd forum, with 600 people showing up! Boston Globe covered it with a news article. […alternatively, see a PDF of the article on page two of this Post, including analysis footnotes by aiReform.com]

When people in one community stand up about things that need to be fixed, and when the local media does their job covering the story, people elsewhere take notice. The word gets out and others talk about it. Here is a comment between two Long Island residents, who have been working for years trying to get FAA to clean up terrible noise impacts near the Kennedy [KJFK] and La Guardia [KLGA] airports:

I know the cities and towns affected by the airplane noise. I used to drive through all of them especially Milton because Blue Hill Mountain is in Milton and I went skiing. The other towns are near the water except Somerville which is North of Cambridge.

Here are some really relevant facts:

  1. 600 people showed up at the meeting!
  2. Peter Lynch US Congressman arranged the meeting between the FAA and the neighbors.
  3. Lynch threatened to cut the FAA budget by 25 million dollars to force this meeting.
  4. The Mass Port Authority is like the PANYNJ – big, bureaucratic, and unresponsive.
  5. Todd Friedenberg, Air Traffic Manager promised to resolve the problem but has no plan. Sounds familiar?
  6. State Senator Brian Joyce attended the meeting and made a statement.
  7. Use of NextGen increased flights and noise levels just as we thought.

I have seen the same pattern in Nassau and Queens Counties, where residents are impacted by FAA’s changes at JFK and La Guardia. I saw Grace Meng attend the rally in Queens summer 2014. I attended a meeting hosted by Steve Israel. Katherine Rice has really done nothing except listen. Senator Schumer does not even listen despite handing his staff 150 protests; he will be re-elected because of the Jewish vote. Senator Gillibrand is asleep. State Senator Dean Skelos is useless because he is being investigated for corruption charges. Besides, I never saw him at any anti-noise meetings.

I wish we had a recording of that meeting. The spirit of rebellion still resides in Boston.

Imagine how many thousands would have attended this latest forum, if FAA’s track record had not already disillusioned many of them, or if they were not so busy scrambling just to care for families. And this, in Boston of all places: a birthplace for so many of our proud traditions such as freedom and liberty and individual responsibility.

One sad fact appears to be that FAA – along with the industry ‘stakeholders’ they serve first and foremost – is ‘collaboratively’ destroying the democratic process. By simply delaying on and on, and pretending to act, the Av-Gov complex is burning out our best people: those who used to care enough to speak up, to participate, to help solve problems.

If we do not reverse this trend, we will soon have a nation run by unaccountable bureaucrats, manipulating the process while serving greedy money interests, and destroying quality of life for an impacted populace that is fully cynical and disempowered and disillusioned.

Boston & NextGen: The Impacts Continue Unabated

“…part of a congressionally mandated, nationwide program ‘that is modernizing the nation’s air traffic control system to make it even safer, greener, and more efficient’….”

– FAA spokesperson Jim Peters

When it comes to spin and propaganda, the most dangerous FAA employees are the mouthpieces: the FAA Administrator (and a few lesser officials who speak at industry luncheons, conferences, conventions and other events), and the public affairs ‘spokespeoples’ (sic). People like Jim Peters, quoted above, in this recent Boston Globe article about NextGen and noise impacts.

click on the image below to view a copy of the article in a scrollable PDF file…

Saying the right thing (and ONLY the right thing!) is critical, to pull off intended manipulated outcomes. So, there is an emphasis on creating and using key phrases, repeated over and over again – quite similar to the manipulative methods we see employed by candidates and their spin-meisters, during major elections. In fact, most FAA employees are strongly conditioned to say nothing, and defer to the mouthpieces. Even written correspondence routinely has to pass through a hierarchy of multiple desks, with everyone initialing off in the ‘grid’ on the cover page. Call it what it is: a culture of fear.

This latest Boston Globe article is fairly good, as it does lay out the problems created by NextGen. But, as is so common, it also provides FAA/industry with a chance to further promote, by inserting pro-NextGen phrases. Here is a table listing the pro-NextGen points, included within this Boston Globe article:

Page 1, paragraph 1: “… and the agency responsible for the decrease energy-saving policy…”
Page 1, paragraph 2: “… FAA has said the Next/Gen satellite-based navigation system is designed to decrease jet fuel consumption and increase safety by making the sky routes more efficient.”
Page 2, paragraph 7: “…Lynch said he understood that the new flight paths increased fuel efficiency and “the industry is probably saving a lot of money by having these planes fly the optimum route…”
Page 2, paragraph 9: “FAA spokesman Jim Peters said the flight paths are part of a congressionally mandated, nationwide program “that is modernizing the nation’s air traffic control system to make it even safer, greener, and more efficient.”
Page 2, paragraph 10: “He said the program reduces air traffic delays and cuts the amount of fuel used by aircraft, and as a result reduces carbon emissions into the atmosphere.”
Page 2, paragraph 11: “The FAA is working with Massport and the Logan Airport Community Advisory Committee to develop a runway-use system that will provide relief from noise while adhering to FAA safety and operational requirements, Peters said.”
Page 2 paragraph 12: Massport spokeswoman Jennifer Mehigan: “The airport and the FAA have worked together to reduce noise in communities, and we will continue to do so.”

Note that these alleged benefits, none of which are proven true, originated with the FAA/industry ‘collaboration’, aimed at dressing up NextGen and selling it to Congress and the general public. Just a lot of unsubstantiated greenwash, paid for using the billions FAA takes from airline passengers each year. And the alleged cooperation, between FAA and the airport and community groups? Routinely, this is just a show, done for appearances, not to solve real problems. Articles such as this show that FAA is a failing agency, out of control and serving only the industry it refuses to regulate.

Finally! … a Fair Article about NextGen Impacts!

QUOTE

“…Over and over again, it’s like a stab in your brain….”

– a resident of Palo Alto, describing FAA’s NextGen Impact on her home

Thank You, Los Angeles Times, for your article about FAA’s NextGen impacts in the Bay Area. You got it right.

There are many articles being published about these NextGen impacts nationwide, particularly at Phoenix, at Boston, and around New York City’s LaGaurdia and JFK airports. This article did not go so far as to reveal the NextGen fraud FAA is pulling, with their greenwashing the public and manipulating Congress to spend billions, but it is truly one of the best articles yet. The reporter actually looked into the situation and compiled her own story, instead of lazily posting the pre-spun talking points that FAA and the industry provide. And, critically, the article was published without being re-spun by editors catering to FAA/industry money and power … a democracy-killing problem at most of today’s news outlets.

With their botched NextGen implementations and tone-deaf arrogance, FAA is making itself the poster child of failed federal agencies. A captured agency, serving only the industry they were created to regulate, while also destroying quality of life for the masses. This must end. We are long overdue for real FAA reform, with full accountability and transparency.

A short video, posted by Save Our Skies Santa Cruz, showing the impact on people, south of San Francisco…

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego Introduces ‘FAA Community Accountability Act’

20151105scp.. Rep.R.Gallego Introduces FAA Community Accountability Act

(click on image to view Press Release at Representative Gallego’s congressional website)

The FAA Community Accountability Act, introduced today, would:

  1. establish a new process to compel the FAA to reconsider existing flight routes that are exposing residents to unacceptably high levels of aviation noise;
  2. end the presumption under current law that flight paths implemented through the NextGen program may not follow pre-existing routes, even when these paths better reflect land use around the airport;
  3. designate a Community Ombudsmen to serve as effective, independent voices for airport communities within the agency;
  4. prevent the FAA from bypassing the environmental review process for new flight paths over the objections of local communities.

The original cosponsors (listed geographically) include:

  • Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ)
  • Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ)
  • Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
  • Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)
  • Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL)
  • Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA)
  • Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA)
  • Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
  • Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY)
  • Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY)
  • Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)
  • Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY)
  • Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA)
  • Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)

Here are some of the comments made during the introduction (emphasis added by aiReform.com):

Rep. Ruben Gallego – “Last September, the FAA altered flight paths for aircrafts departing from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport. The changes were made without meaningful input or consultation with community members or civic leaders, and have caused severe noise disruptions that have lowered the quality of life for many members of my community. My bill would help address this problem in Phoenix and make sure that other communities across the country don’t suffer the same consequences of the FAA’s opaque decision-making process.”
Rep. Steve Israel (NY) – “Airplane noise continues to have a negative impact on the lives of my constituents in Queens and Nassau county. This bill will ensure that residents affected by airplane noise have a voice in urging the FAA to reconsider placing these noisy flight paths over their homes and communities.”
Rep. Mike Quigley (IL) – “My constituents back home in Chicago are facing unprecedented noise pollution from passing aircraft that is eroding their quality of life, lowering their property values, and impacting their health. But this is clearly not just a Chicago issue. Communities across the country are experiencing increased airplane noise, and it’s time for the FAA to be more accountable and responsive to their concerns. I’m proud to introduce the FAA Community Accountability Act with my colleagues to ensure that the voices of our constituents are heard before any changes to flight paths are considered.”
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ) – “Phoenix residents have every right to be frustrated, not only by disruptive noise from new flight paths but by the FAA’s unwillingness to listen. It shouldn’t have taken congressional action to find a solution, but if that’s what it takes then we’ll fight for these folks until the FAA is responsive and accountable.”
Rep. Don Beyer (VA) – “Our communities deserve greater input in the FAA’s processes to minimize airplane noise. I am proud to join Congressman Gallego in urging the FAA to be more inclusive in considering the impact of its flight paths”
Rep. Joseph Crowley (NY) – “Unfortunately, aircraft noise pollution isn’t merely a nuisance – it poses health risks, disrupts student learning and drowns out the joys of daily life. Our airports will never be perfect neighbors, but we can certainly work to make them better ones. I’m proud to join Congressman Gallego in sponsoring this much-needed legislation that will go a long way in helping communities impacted by aircraft noise.”
Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (MA) – “Many of the towns and neighborhoods that I represent are close to Logan Airport and the residents in our area have faced a huge increase in airplane noise and a total lack of responsiveness from the FAA. Some of these citizens and taxpayers have 500 planes fly directly over their homes each day – and they deserve to have their voices heard and they are entitled to some relief. I am proud to cosponsor Congressman Gallego’s bill, which will demand accountability and create a dialogue between these affected communities and the FAA.”
Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (CA) – New flight paths associated with implementation of the FAA’s NextGen satellite-based navigation program have caused major increases in aircraft noise. For thousands of Americans, including so many throughout my congressional district, a family conversation at the dinner table, sitting outside, or trying to sleep have all been disrupted because of the roar of jet engines overhead. I’m proud to be part of the effort to resolve this untenable situation by introducing the FAA Community Accountability Act, which requires the FAA to work with local communities and limit noise impacts when planning and implementing new flight paths with NextGen. This legislation can mitigate unacceptable high levels of aircraft noise while continually modernizing our aviation system.”

This proposed legislation appears to be a very good step forward, needed to bring FAA and the airlines under control on their ‘out-of-control’ NextGen implementations. More elected officials need to advocate on behalf of the millions of people adversely impacted by NextGen.

Has YOUR Congressional representative signed on in support? For contact information, be sure to see the original press release at Representative Gallego’s website, or use this link and your zip code.

No Fly Day on October 24th

In less than two weeks, No Fly Day happens. People across the nation are pledging to not fly, in protest of FAA NextGen implementations, which are causing severe aviation noise impacts at many of the major commercial passenger airports. FAA and the airlines and airport authorities are literally destroying neighborhoods and quality of life, inflicting a noise-cost upon hundreds of thousands of people so that the four largest airlines can add to their quarterly profits.

Here is an image of a flyer by one of the Boston-area airport noise groups, Boston West Fair Skies (BWFS). This group is well-organized; they created their own QR code (scannable square) to help people get to their website, and they are encouraging other groups to act fast on a Groupon for a 6′ by 2.5′ protest banner (ends on 10/14 at the end of 10/13). Also, please see two additional images with text summarizing the NoFlyDay.org goals, as well as the FAA’s failures that necessitated this protest.

20151024.. No Fly Day flyer, KBOS version (A.Poole, 10-12-2015)

20151024.. 'Reasons for the Protest' (NoFlyDay flyer content)

(click on image to read a timeline about FAA’s ongoing NextGen failures)

20151024.. '3 demands of FAA to Protect' (NoFlyDay flyer content)Learn more and sign the pledge: NoFlyDay.org

NOTE: individuals or groups interested in joining the protest, producing local materials, etc. are encouraged to contact NoFlyDay.org at: stopjetnoise@noflyday.org

 

October 24: Join the ‘No Fly Day’ to Protest NextGen

20150825scp.. Petition for NoFlyDay 10-24-2015

(click on image to sign the pledge at the petition webpage)

The pledge is to NOT fly on October 24th (or your next trip). The associated petition is being delivered to 68 leaders (in Congress, at the airlines, at FAA, etc.) and it lays out just three simple requests aimed at fixing the problems NextGen has created:

  1. Give people in Boston, Charlotte, Phoenix and elsewhere relief by reverting immediately to the pre-NextGen flight procedures;
  2. Conduct Environmental Impact Studies that use an updated, relevant noise standard (FAA tricked Congress into exempting environmental review, so there was no meaningful analysis for the NextGen flight procedures); and,
  3. Fix the broken review process whereby citizens are supposed to be shown the plan and empowered to offer valuable feedback BEFORE new procedures are implemented.

Please pledge, and please encourage others to join this action.

A PETITION: Asking FAA to Fix the Boston NextGen Mess

(click on image to read and sign petition at Change.org)

(click on image to read and sign petition at Change.org)

Boston is one of many communities where FAA has implemented new NextGen procedures that are creating exceptionally intense noise impacts. Using nearly bottomless financial resources, including airline passenger taxes, FAA has spent a lot of money, carefully maneuvering with the airlines and lobbyists to get Congressional support for these new procedures. Sadly – and inexcusably – the key element of Congressional support was a line of legislation passed in early 2012 that allows FAA to implement these impactful procedures using a ‘categorical exclusion’, aka a ‘CATEX’, which means ESSENTIALLY ZERO ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW.

20150627scp.. five NextGen RNAV routes around Milton (google maps)It is absolutely unbelievable what FAA has done, particularly in Phoenix, Charlotte, Queens, Chicago, and Minneapolis. To preserve local quality of life, many citizens have risen to challenge FAA, forming groups calling for environmental reviews and FAA performance that is both accountable and transparent. One of those groups is Boston Fair Skies Coalition. They recently started a petition. The petition is aimed at Allan Goldsher, who is listed as the FAA contact person for an FAA proposal to implement new routes. In the map above, two departure routes are marked in yellow and red; three arrival routes are marked in blue, gray and black. The history behind this proposal is summarized at this Town of Milton website. Further details can be viewed here. FAA has set a June 30 deadline for citizen comments.

The Boston Fair Skies website has some valuable content, which not only details the problems FAA is making around KBOS, but also helps people in other U.S. cities to better understand their own local NextGen impacts. Be sure to click through and read the MassPort Webinar, posted on the website homepage.

(click on image to go to the homepage for the BOSFairSkies.com website)

(click on image to go to the homepage for the BOSFairSkies.com website)

Global Warming Denialism Is as Wrong as FAA’s NextGen

There is so much work to do, just trying to stay on top of FAA’s full frontal assault. Over the past three years, and under the guise of ‘safety and efficiency’, FAA has begun imposing NextGenHell and OAPMfraud, and thus destroying quality of life in residential neighborhoods across the nation. [NOTE, added 12/10/2016: FAA has frequently amended their webpages after issues have been raised in aiREFORM Posts; a copy of the FAA webpage connected to the ‘OAPMfraud’ link above is archived here.]

New Posts by aiREFORM will soon discuss the OAPMFraud issue, and will also cover impacts around Atlanta [KATL], the Bay Area [KSFO], Boston [BOS], Charlotte [KCLT], Chicago [KORD], Minneapolis [KMSP], Seattle [KSEA], and other emerging NextGenHell Impact Zones.

But other important news is happening, and it is quite related. For example, the rain events and deadly flooding, particularly in Texas, are indicative of what we can expect when we seed more intense weather by adding more water vapor (melted ice) and more energy (higher air temperatures, including enhanced solar energy absorption by much higher CO2 levels) to our changing atmosphere.

The Arctic Ice situation continues to worsen.

20150525.. NSIDC ArcticIce graph showing 5 days record low (w markups)

NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice Extent graph for 5/25/2015. Gray band is +/- 2SD’s off the mean value (solid black line). Dashed black line is 2012. Dark blue line is 2015. The year holding the record low value is labeled in orange, at bottom. Note that the current 2015 value is more than two standard deviations below the historical mean. (click on image to view current graph at NSIDC)

Ten days ago, an aiREFORM Post offered a pair of graphs showing low Arctic sea ice extent. The Post also noted that 2015 looks likely to set many new records. Well, we are now five days into a third new record this year.

Thus far in 2015, new low-records for Arctic Sea Ice Extent have been set from March 4th through March 22nd, April 4th through April 10th, and May 20th onward. And worse, not only is the sea ice extent plummeting, but weather and other conditions stand to keep it plummeting, maybe even accelerate it. For example, loss of white sea ice is replaced by dark open water, which tends to reflect less and absorb much more of the energy (thus, heating). This is an example of ‘positive feedback’ with negative climatological consequences.

Here are two ClimateReAnalyzer images, for May 26, 2015:20150526scp.. Arctic Sea Ice Extent and Air Temp Anomaly (ClimateReAnalyzer)

In both images, the North Pole is depicted by the crossing dashed lines (main meridians) centered and a third of the way down from the top. These modified satellite images are updated daily at their website (once you are at the website, note that the words listed to the left of the globe are all links to images; click on ‘Sea Ice & Snow‘ to view the left image, and click on ‘Temperature Anomaly‘ to view the right image).

The left image shows ‘Sea Ice Extent’. Open water is dark blue, 100% ice is solid white, and partial melt is in darker white shades. A thin cyan line marks the average sea ice extent for the years 1979-2000.

The right image shows ‘Temperature Anomaly’ for air temperature at 2-meter height above the surface. Colors grade toward warm extremes (brown) and cold extremes (blue). The anomaly values are relative to a baseline for temperatures during the 1979-2000 timeframe. The predominant brown shows that the Arctic Ocean is substantially warmed, with areas near the North Pole at 10-degrees+ Fahrenheit above normal.

It’s Global Warming, and it is Anthropogenic

These images, when compared with past Sea Ice Extent images, destroy the claims by those who deny Global Warming. 20150526scp.. Arctic Sea Ice Extent year 2000 gray(ClimateReAnalyzer)Here are two earlier images, for the same date in 2000 and in 2012.

The year 2000 was chosen because it most closely matches the ‘average 1979-2000’ graph (see the solid black line).

The year 2012 was chosen because it was the blockbuster year with the most records and the lowest readings during human history (see the dashed black line in the large graph near the top of this Post).20000526scp.. Arctic Sea Ice Extent (ClimateReAnalyzer)20120526scp.. Arctic Sea Ice Extent (ClimateReAnalyzer)

Look particularly at two map features: terrain snow cover, and open water. The terrain snow cover is a light gray overlay of brown land, and has clearly declined in Alaska, across northern Canada, and in the Rocky Mountains, from 2000 to 2012 to 2015. Likewise, the dark blue ‘open sea water’ has extended far northward, including:

  • the Bering Sea is now nearly ice free, and earlier melting in the Chukchi Sea north of the Bering Straits.
  • earlier open water in the lowest latitudes of the Beaufort Sea, around the MacKenzie River delta.
  • recession of the northern tips of both the Greenland Sea and the Barents Sea, north of Europe.
  • earlier meltoff of both Hudson Bay and Baffin Bay.

See also:

¡¿Happy Earth Day, Mr. Huerta?!

20150422scp.. FAA's 'Happy Earth Day' FB text20150422.. FAA sunset pic, poster image from their Earth Day 2015 Facebook PostThis is what FAA posted on the FAA Facebook site, on Wednesday morning. And they clearly want ALL OF US to celebrate with them, from Phoenix to Flushing, and from Charlotte to Chicago. Take a close look at the small text above, in the glorious picture with no airplanes (hence, the glory); FAA wants everyone to believe, “NextGen routes ease aviation’s burden on the environment….”

NextGen and EarthDay2015. Like two peas in a pod…

…¡¡¿¿Are you kidding me??!!

Hey, I forgot, too. The world has been looking a lot less beautiful in recent years. In fact, on that morning, my distraction was studying noise impacts created by focused NextGen tracks, trying to figure out how to get a certain three-letter aviation authority to clean up their mess. It was only when FAA sent out their disingenuous propaganda-piece that I remembered, ‘…hey, today is the 45th anniversary of Earth Day!’

Some of us might easily have been distracted watching the new record levels of atmospheric CO2 or the accelerating polar ice melt that appears to be closely tied to our weird winter weather. And, no doubt, if we live in one of the NextGen launch communities, perhaps we were too busy testifying (again!) before our local City Council, hoping – even praying – we could get relief from NextGen noise.

A lot of us probably forgot. But, thank you FAA, for reminding us. Oh, and by the way, we posted many comments onto your Facebook page (a copy has been saved at page two of this aiREFORM Post). Here is one of the comments:

“What a farce NextGen is: Lies and deceit; Environmental “reviews” with no basis in facts; The ruination of quiet neighborhoods; Destruction of property values without any compensation.
It’s Federal government bullying at its worst, and they claim to be celebrating Earth Day? George Orwell could not have written such a scenario.”

 

<< <> <<>> <> >>

Administrator Huerta, your agency’s PR branch will likely tell you the comments are all ‘thank you notes’, but you might want to read them yourself. They are overwhelmingly opposed to what your agency is doing. And they find your NextGen greenwashing to be absolutely despicable. Why? Well, put it all into perspective.

Earth Day started in 1970 because people were fed up with the trends toward environmental destruction, largely accelerated by greed and indifference. And it wasn’t about aesthetics; it was about health. Essentially, the people demanded effective regulations, and they also demanded to be meaningfully involved in a transparent democratic process.

What FAA did in 2014, with the CATEX applications and refusals to mitigate bad NextGen launches, is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what Earth Day represents. In early 2012, under pressure to move past years of legislative gridlock, our Congress punted; they put the decision solely on YOU. At Section 213 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, they codified that you were to make the determination as to whether or not ‘extraordinary circumstances’ would void filing of a Categorical Exclusion. Here is a screen-capture of the relevant section (with markups by aiREFORM):20120214scp.. 'expedited review' portion of Section 213, H.R. 658, 112th Congress, FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, re CATEXMost of the FAA Administrators who preceded you expended enormous effort trying to balance the profit goals of the airlines with the quality-of-life needs of the larger public. Under your helm, and particularly with your NextGen launches, this balance has been completely discarded. You (and your subordinate Regional Administrators) have failed to see the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ of the noise impacts you have imposed upon families in places like Phoenix and Flushing. FAA is failing and has become YOUR agency, because it sure as hell isn’t serving the people anymore.

Sure, the Cuyahoga River is no longer igniting, like it was before the first Earth Day in 1970, but YOU are putting the fire in our skies with your NextGen noise. YOU are destroying our quality of life, and allowing your employees to delay producing records and correcting FAA’s cronyistic actions.

Mr. Huerta, your agency appears to have lost sight of an important fact:

Aviation and the NAS should be an asset

for the whole country, not just a way for

‘the final four major airlines’

to make a profit.

Too many in your organization are failing to serve the whole public. Our aviation system needs to be deliberately and equitably managed.

A year from now, if you (or your successor) want to make a similar ‘Happy Earth Day!’ post, you may want to show that you mean it. Starting today, you might want to put the environment and quality-of-life front and center, to reform your agency and serve the larger public.

¡¡Happy Earth Day, Mr. Huerta!!