Sun, Dec 18, 2011
Asks That Late-Night Flights Be Redirected Away From
Washington D.C.'s representative to Congress has written a
letter to the FAA reroute air traffic during construction at
Washington Reagan National Airport (KDCA), saying noise from the
jets on approach to the airport is affecting the health of the
residents living in the flight path.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) (pictured) sent
the letter to the FAA Thursday, asking for changes to its policies
on late-night and early-morning flights into Reagan National
Airport during construction on the main runway. Earlier, Norton had
called FAA officials to address the complaints, but residents have
continued calling her office, saying that they have experienced
deafening, terrorizing noise and lights from planes flying directly
over their homes in the dead of night. In her letter to Michael P.
Huerta, Acting Administrator of the FAA, Norton requested that the
agency explore alternative approaches for airplanes flying into
Reagan National Airport during the late evening and early morning
hours until runway construction is complete in April and the
airport can return to normal operations. She also suggested that
the FAA consider doing some of the necessary work during business
hours or on weekends to help curb so many flights being diverted
into a new landing pattern that disturbs residents.
“We understand that the aging runway needs to be repaired,
but the complaints we have been receiving are not the usual air
traffic noise complaints,” Norton said. “Some homes
shake every time an airplane is landing, and the sleep and health
of residents are being wrecked because of it. I am asking the FAA
to revisit how it can complete its projects at Reagan without
disrupting the lives and health of nearby residents.”
The Washington Post reports that the airport's main runway is
currently closed for construction between 2300 and 0600 EST, and
that the last flight scheduled into the airport on weekdays is at
0100. Flights resume at 0600. Flights using the alternate runway
are the ones generating the complaints to Congresswoman Norton.
Construction us expected to be wrapped up in the spring of 2012.
DCA officials said that next month, a shift in construction times
should allow late flights to use the main runway unless weather
conditions push flights to the alternate.
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