Residents fight FAA flight pattern changes

    Today they take their case to federal court in Washington D.C.

    There is little dispute that flight delays persist at Philadelphia International Airport. But the FAA’s plans to change the flight patterns to address that problem has met fierce resistance from residents in suburban Philadelphia and south Jersey. Today they take their case to federal court in Washington D.C.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090508spflight.mp3]

    Eleven communities up and down the East Coast have filed lawsuits challenging the FAA’s airport re-design plan. They say the increased flights over their homes at low altitudes will create air and noise pollution and reduce their property values.

    FAA officials say the changes are needed to increase efficiency and cut down on flight delays along the East Coast.

    John McBlain is legal council for Delaware County Council, a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

    McBlain: The FAA’s conclusion is the efficiency for airspace redesign outweighs the citizen’s rights to clean air, not to be affected by noise. And yes, they agree there will be negative effects but they put their own needs above Delaware County residents.

    McBlain says its unlikely the courts will rule in their favor because he says they usually defer to federal agencies.

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