Says Legal Challenges Prevent Further Input
The Federal Aviation Administration
said there will be no more public hearings on its controversial
plan to reroute air traffic over lower Fairfield County, CT.
"We agree it is important to consider the concerns of area
residents, (and) the public was given three separate opportunities
to comment," FAA official Nancy Kalinowski wrote to Connecticut
state senators Bob Duff and Andrew McDonald according to The
The senators wrote to the FAA in late August, seeking additional
public meetings on the FAA proposal.
"Since the FAA is facing legal challenges regarding the...
airspace redesign, it would be inappropriate for the FAA to attend
public meetings before these legal issues are resolved," Kalinowski
Connecticut cities involved in the legal challenges include
Stamford, Norwalk, Danbury, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Weston,
Wilton, Westport, Ridgefield, and Redding, as well and Pound Ridge,
NY, which has also joined with its own legal questions, as ANN reported.
US Representative Christopher Shays said Saturday his request
for additional public process was also denied in September.
The FAA unveiled the controversial rerouting plan in September,
saying it will save 200,000 hours of delays annually by 2011 at New
York's John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, Newark Liberty
Airport in New Jersey and Philadelphia airports, as reported by ANN.
The proposal shifts aircraft arrivals -- and aircraft noise --
for LaGuardia eastward from flights over Westchester County, NY to
Fairfield County, according to legal challenges by the communities
Kalinowski said the FAA has followed the public process as
outlined by the National Environmental Policy Act.
"The public was given three separate opportunities to comment
during the NEPA process," Kalinowski wrote. "The FAA held over 120
public and information meetings as part of this process,
distributed newsletters and created a web site to educate, inform
and receive feedback from concerned citizens and