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Phoenix residents upset over new FAA-implemented flight paths

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Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014

By Justin McDuffie


CHASE GOLIGHTLY/CRONKITE NEWS: A recent change to outbound flights from Sky Harbor International Airport is making waves in Valley neighborhoods and sending complaints all the way to the nation’s capital.

The new flight path for some Sky Harbor takeoffs, takes planes over the Grand Avenue corridor and over several historic neighborhoods in central Phoenix. And over the past three weeks, hundreds of residents in areas like F.Q. Story and Garfield have been voicing their complaints, and questioning why the change had to happen at all.

Those complaints have been heard all the way in Washington where our reporter Justin McDuffie has more on the story. Justin?

JUSTIN MCDUFFIE/CRONKITE NEWS: In the month since the routes were changed, Sky Harbor has received nearly 350 noise complaints in comparison to last year, when they received only 221 complaints for the entire year.

On Sept. 18, the Federal Aviation Administration implemented 14 new departure and arrival paths at Sky Harbor International Airport. But according to congressman Ed Pastor, who represents the affected Grand Avenue area…

REP. ED PASTOR/(D) DISTRICT 7: Most of them seem to be working, except one, it’s the one that’s going into the historic districts, so we’re asking them to re-evaluate that route.

JUSTIN MCDUFFIE/CRONKITE NEWS: After several attempts to get in contact with the FAA, Ian Gregor told us in this email that the changes at Sky Harbor were made to improve safety and efficiency. He did also say FAA did completed environmental and safety analyses, but said the projected noise increase wasn’t significant.

But significant enough that area residents have filed numerous noise complaints. Pastor hopes that all parties can…

REP. ED PASTOR/(D) DISTRICT 7: Come to a solution that does not cause the route to go over the district, the historic districts.

JUSTIN MCDUFFIE/CRONKITE NEWS: Pastor told me that he has yet to receive a response to his letter from the FAA, but he did tell me that there’s a public meeting set up for area residents and local leaders on Oct. 16.