Sat, May 15, 2010
Calls On Administrator To Stop Testing On Changes To GA IFR
Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) (pictured, below) has sent
a letter to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt saying the agency
should "immediately suspend" testing of new GA IFR departure
procedures at Santa Monica airport (KSMO).
Waxman was responding to complaints from local residents near
the airport. He also joined neighborhood activists and Santa Monica
city officials in criticizing the FAA for not holding public
hearings before beginning the flight-path experiment. In the
letter, Waxman said "(a) test with such far-reaching impacts
requires adequate public education and outreach. Yet, the FAA did
not make presentations to the Santa Monica Airport Commission or to
communities living in the vicinity of the airport before the test
was initiated. Furthermore, despite a request from the City of
Santa Monica, no public outreach program was conducted once the
test commenced. The lack of public outreach as these decision are
made is unacceptable."
The new IFR departure procedures for GA airplanes takes them
over residential housing near the Santa Monica Pier, rather than a
direct route to the ocean before turning north. The Santa Monica
Daily Press reports that the procedures account for about 10
operations per day, on average. Residents are complaining about the
"increased noise" from the departing airplanes.
An FAA spokesman said the agency was reviewing the letter, and
would respond as appropriate.
The FAA and airport officials say they are looking at procedures
for IFR departures that will relieve congestion and delays at both
KSMO and Los Angeles International.
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