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Thu, Sep 14, 2017

Maryland To Sue FAA Over NextGen Flight Patterns At BWI, Reagan National

Seeks Changes In Arrival And Departure Routes From Airports

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has directed state Attorney General Brian Frosh to file a lawsuit against FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and the agency in an effort to change NextGen flight patterns for arrivals and departures from Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (KBWI) and Ronald Reagan National Airport (KDCA) in nearby Arlington, Virginia.

The FAA instituted the new flight patterns in 2014, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun. The complaints began to come in almost immediately. On Tuesday, the Republican Governor sent a letter to the Democratic Attorney General saying the state should take legal action against the FAA "on behalf of all Marylanders suffering from the adverse effects of the implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System."

"This program has made many Maryland families miserable in their own homes with louder and more frequent flights which now rattle windows and doors," Hogan wrote. "As elected leaders of this state, we cannot allow this situation to stand."

Frosh reportedly shares the Governor's concerns about the new air traffic routes.

Hogan has also written a letter to the FAA asking that the flight patterns be restored to their pre-NextGen routes at BWI. Hogan said that the new flight paths were instituted with "insufficient study, notice and outreach to the general public and the affected jurisdictions. Notice to Maryland was inadequate and designed to ensure speedy approval rather than to promote community input and discussion."

The FAA responded to Hogan saying that it had established the DC Metroplex BWI Community Roundtable to address the issues before the flight paths were put in place. And while the agency said that it would work with that group to come up with solutions, "reverting to the flight paths and procedures that existed prior to the implementation of the DC Metroplex project is not possible."

Hogan's action was prompted in part by a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals that upheld a challenge to NextGen flight corridors at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix.

FMI: governor.maryland.gov

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