Governor, Congressman Want More Info About Process
The GAO, a government watchdog, will
study the Federal Aviation Administration's airspace redesign that
has triggered legal challenges from lower Fairfield County
Gov. M. Jodi Rell and U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Bridgeport,
applauded the Government Accountability Office, which said it would
analyze the FAA's methodology as well as the noise and
environmental effects of the redesign plan, according to the
"Our fight is about many things, but chief among them is the
process itself," Rell said in a statement yesterday.
"The FAA failed to even consider or analyze the impact of
increased noise on residents and state parks before moving forward
with new flight paths."
Shays said more research is needed on the FAA plan before a
final decision is made.
"The bottom line is the FAA redesign merits much more scrutiny
and I'm glad the GAO is moving forward with this study," Shays said
in a statement. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Rell
announced last week they had filed suit, on behalf of the state
Department of Environmental Protection, to stop the FAA's plan,
claiming the agency violated the National Environmental Policy
A suit was also previously filed by
the Alliance for Sensible Airspace Planning, which includes Stamford, Norwalk, Greenwich, New Canaan,
Wilton, Darien, Westport, Weston, Ridgefield and Pound Ridge, N.Y.,
The Greenwich Board of Selectmen agreed to commit $34,100 to the
group's lobbying effort. The town already had agreed to contribute
$30,000 to help pay legal fees.
The FAA approved its plan in September after holding scoping
meetings, and a hearing neighborhood concerns in lower Fairfield
A controversial part of the plan that is opposed by residents is
a plan to shift arrivals for LaGuardia Airport east over Fairfield
County, from Westchester County, N.Y. A Stamford study said the
plans could increase noise, on average, to 38 to 40 decibels, up from 32 to 33 decibels, as
reported in ANN previously.
The redesign plan hopes to save 200,000 hours of delays per year
at Kennedy, LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and Philadelphia airports
starting in 2011, according to the FAA.