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Newport Beach Reaches Tentative Agreement With FAA Over Flight Paths

Aircraft Departing John Wayne Airport Will Stay Closer To Newport Bay

The city of Newport Beach, CA has reached a tentative settlement with the FAA in its lawsuit challenging departure corridors from John Wayne Airport, the city said Tuesday night.

Under the terms of the agreement, the departure paths will continue to be located between existing noise monitors while the FAA develops and studies a curved departure procedure that will follow the contours of Upper Newport Bay, avoiding residential areas to the greatest extent possible. That procedure is expected to be in place in a few weeks, according to a report form the Los Angeles Times.

The flight corridors were changed when the FAA implemented the Southern California Metroplex project. It took planes over homes just after takeoff. Newport, which was joined in the suit by Orange County, challenged the accuracy of the FAA's environmental assessment for the Metroplex Project. The agency said that there would be no significant effects on the communities surrounding the airport.

The settlement requires the FAA to fully analyze any future changes to flight paths under the National Environmental Policy Act. In a statement, City Attorney Aaron Harp said that the settlement was a better outcome that the city could have expected had the case gone to trial, which would have been limited to the adequacy of the environmental assessment.

The agreement must be approved by the FAA and the U.S. Department of Justice.

FMI: Original report

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