FAA flight paths: Scottsdale officials host Tuesday discussion on proposed changes

Scottsdale officials will be presenting two modified departure flight paths for the FAA’s consideration. (Submitted graphic)

The Scottsdale City Council will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, to consider approval to authorize the mayor to submit comments on behalf of the city to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The city’s comments will address issues arising from redirected Sky Harbor air traffic that has detrimentally affected Scottsdale residents and provide alternative solutions.

Tuesday’s discussion comes after coordination with a national aviation consulting firm to develop two modified departure flight paths for the FAA’s consideration, according to a press release.

Scottsdale residents are encouraged to support the city’s recommendations and express their concerns about the impact of current Sky Harbor flight paths to their neighborhoods and quality of life. The FAA is accepting written comments on flight path corridors through Thursday, May 23.

“We believe that the NextGen flight paths placed over Scottsdale were ill conceived and a mistake,” said Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane in a prepared statement. “We need to convince the FAA to reconsider.”

Upon approval, Scottsdale will provide the follow recommendations to the FAA:

  • Modify departures from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to fly far to the east of Scottsdale and east of the Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation.
  • An acceptable alternative would direct Sky Harbor departures slightly to the east of Scottsdale.

The comment period is part of a court-ordered process to address noise impacts by examining the FAA’s “Next Gen” flight path changes implemented at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport in 2014, when longstanding flight routes in and out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport were changed with the introduction of satellite-based navigation.

These changes concentrate air traffic over heavily populated portions of Scottsdale. Neighborhoods within Troon, DC Ranch and McDowell Mountain Ranch are particularly impacted by eastbound departures.

The City of Scottsdale has delivered numerous letters to the FAA citing issues of increased noise, physical vibrations of residences and the negative effects the flight path changes are having on our residents’ daily lives.

The city has also asked the FAA to engage with affected communities, implement reduced aircraft speeds, restrict aircraft altitudes and change throttle up patterns, the press release stated.

With feedback from this process and other factors such as operational safety and efficiency, it’s the city’s goal to convince the FAA to initiate new airspace changes.

The 5 p.m. Scottsdale City Council meeting will be held at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

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