A call to action: Help us protect Scottsdale’s quality of life

(Submitted photo)

Several years ago, the quality of life for many Scottsdale residents was severely impacted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

When the FAA implemented its new NextGen navigation system at Sky Harbor International Airport, it also changed the flight paths over the metropolitan area, including Scottsdale.

In Scottsdale, it moved three established departure flight routes from unpopulated mountain, industrial and commercial areas to a super highway in the sky through the middle of our city.

Clockwise from top left is Kathy Littlefield, Bud Kern, Virginia Korte and Jeff Schwartz. (File photos)

Communities that cherished a peaceful outdoor environment now must endure loud flights that often come one right after the other at much lower altitudes. While before, any unfortunate aviation mishap would occur over less populated areas, any mishap now will occur over our schools and residential communities.

This is a major safety issue and as well a quality of life issue. We must work together to ensure the FAA listens to our combined voices and returns our communities to their historically safe and quiet lifestyles.

The FAA ignored the voices of Phoenix residents when it refused to return nine new westbound departures from Sky Harbor to their original locations.

Phoenix then sued and won a judgment in the U.S. Court system to force the FAA to do so. We hope the FAA will now listen to the public it serves. But first, it needs to hear from us and know we are serious about fighting for our safety and quality of life.

This month the FAA is hosting workshop meetings to receive verbal and written comments on this issue. We will be heard if enough of us attend these meetings and submit comments to prove we too will protect our communities.

Join us and your neighbors so that our combined voices are loud and clear and can’t be ignored.

  • Meeting No. 1: April 22nd, 5—8 p.m., Desert Vista High School, 16440 S. 32nd St., Phoenix
  • Meeting No. 2: April 23rd, 5—8 p.m., Pinnacle High School, 3535 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix
  • Meeting No. 3: April 24th, 5—8 p.m., Cesar Chavez High School, 3921 W. Baseline Rd., Laveen

Go to airplanenoise.org for more information.

Editor’s Note: Virginia Korte is a Scottsdale City Councilwoman; Kathy Littlefield is a Scottsdale City Councilwoman; Jeffrey A. Schwartz is a community ambassador; and Bud Kern is the chair of Scottsdale Coalition for Airport Noise Abatement (SCANA). All four authors are residents of Scottsdale.

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