Neighborhood Associations file Reply Brief lambasting FAA over aircraft noise created by new northern departure flight path

Neighborhood Associations filed a Reply Brief with the Court of Appeals last night lambasting the FAA over the aircraft noise created by their new northern departure flight path.

The brief argues that the FAA improperly instituted the flight path without the required environmental review of noise impacts and did so without any notice to the impacted communities or their elected representatives. The brief explains why an environmental review of the flight path is required and was not performed, and seeks a Court order requiring the FAA to revert to the former flight path for northern departures until the required review is performed.

Residents of communities near the Potomac, including Georgetown, are increasingly subjected to excessive aircraft noise which erodes quality of life and impacts property values. In Spring 2015 the FAA authorized a new northern flight path named LAZIR that brings planes over Georgetown and Georgetown University and nearby communities including Foggy Bottom, Foxhall, Hillandale, Burleith, Colony Hill and Palisades. The number of flights has also increased, including flights as early as 5:00am and well after midnight. The resulting increase in aircraft noise is disruptive to the peace and quiet of all residents near the new flight path.

In August 2015, CAG and the other communities near the Potomac River, joined by Georgetown University, filed a Petition for Review of the new flight path with the DC Federal Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the new northern route as unlawful: CAG vs FAA, DC Cir Case No. 15-1285.  The Petitioners also formed the DC Fair Skies Coalition to pursue aircraft noise mitigation.  

The next step in the litigation process is for the Court to schedule oral argument. Appellate litigation is a marathon, not a sprint, and we expect oral argument to be scheduled in the Fall.  Pursuing the appeal is going to cost the neighborhood groups at least $60,000 so donations to the Coalition’s Aircraft Noise Fund are needed. If you are bothered by aircraft noise, this is the time and place to do something about it! Read the brief here and donate here.