Court of Appeals Okays FAA NextGen tracks: a decision of process and the Post, not one which may address Channelization, the real issue

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Appeals court rules against D.C. residents in fight over noise from National Airport

Court decides on process and mentions Washington Post

NextGen RNP causes channelization outside Court’s Comptence

 

The inhabitants of the Georgetown, the Palisades and other Northwest Washington neighborhoods are comprised of Members of Congress, lobbyists, business leaders and the people who make the National Government GO. They know the rules and how the battles are fought. That collective brought suit against the FAA and the impressive team of lawyers included some of their neighbors.

THEY LOST and did so on procedural grounds. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found in CITIZENS ASSOCIATION OF GEORGETOWN, ET AL., V, FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION AND MICHAEL P. HUERTA, ADMINISTRATOR, FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, that the appellants had filed too late.  Circuit Judge Tatel found:

During this entire period, Georgetown claims that notwithstanding multiple notices regarding the D.C. Metroplex in the Washington Post, 
it was completely unaware of the project and the recently completed EA process. Not until it met with the FAA in July 2015 did Georgetown 
learn of the LAZIR-based departure procedures. Pet’rs’ Br. 17. Then, on August 24, 2015—approximately eighteen months after the FONSI/ROD 
was issued and pilots began flying the LAZIR procedures—Georgetown filed a petition for review in this court challenging the FAA’s approval 
of the LAZIR-based departure procedures, in which it alleged that the agency failed to comply with NEPA and several other statutes. 
[emphasis added]

[the North departure pattern/impact at issue]

The opinion distinguished the Washington facts from the process at issue in a similar FAA new air traffic procedure, City of Phoenix v. Huerta,869 F.3d 963, 966 (D.C. Cir. 2017), opinion amended on reh’g, 881 F.3d 932 (D.C. Cir. 2018). There the same Court, a different panel, determined: The petitions thus came more than half a year too late. The review statute, however, provides that a court may allow a petition to be filed after the usual deadline “if there are reasonable grounds for not filing by the 60th day.” 49 U.S.C. § 46110(a). While we “rarely [find] ‘reasonable grounds’ under section 46110(a),” Elec. Privacy Info. Ctr. v. FAA, 821 F.3d 39, 43 (D.C. Cir. 2016), we have done so in cases quite similar to this one.  The Circuit Judges reviewed the unusual process used by the FAA in attempting to comply with requirements of NEPA. Suffice it to say that the Phoenix facts were considerably more egregious than the Washington record.

Parsing Judge Tatel’s words, he appears to rely on the effective notice given by the Washington Post. Thereby giving some credence to that publication’s long-running advertising tag­line, “If you don’t get it, you don’t get it” and its current mast head sub title:

 

On a more serious vein, NEPA is and has always been primarily a procedural statute. In neither the Phoenix nor the Washington case did the court review the underlying environmental concerns. At best a court will assess whether the agency’s Record of Decision was arbitrary and capricious.

The ultimate question raised by these citizens is whether the NextGen RNP aligns the flights with such precision that it results in tracks which are channeled over same path or “channelization.” That problem may require the FAA to adopt a new noise metric, an action which Congress can compel, or the FAA can initiate.

 



 

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2 Comments on "Court of Appeals Okays FAA NextGen tracks: a decision of process and the Post, not one which may address Channelization, the real issue"

  1. Tawanda Lovett | June 6, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Reply

    NEXTGEN is an innovative wrecking ball. It is destroying all aspects of my life, shaking my home’s foundation constantly, and CHEMTRAILS are not pretty clouds, they are poison. Safety in the sky is important, but you can’t disregard people’s lives on the ground. The skies are ample and unlimited accept the few no fly zones sprinkled about. On the ground we have very few options of getting away from your intrusive terror, when you change routes and altitudes at the drop of a dime, over unsuspecting citizens who did there due diligence in research to avoid the terror. I moved into a silent neighborhood and then the planes came at an AVERAGE OF 82 LOUD events a day over my home and that did not include arrivals! And that was a “QUIETER” timeframe of measuring. One day I recorded 175+ planes from one corner of my house to another since lower, longer, louder, CONCENTRATED became the plan of action! We are your customers. You can’t see logic in protecting us in the sky and killing and destroying us on the ground….or can you? I KNOW THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN ONGOING AND IS FINALLY GAINING A LITTLE STEAM, BUT I FEEL LIKE THE TRUE EFFECTS HAVE BEEN LOST, OVERLOOKED, AND OVERSHADOWED BY NEXTGEN CREATORS AND SUPPORTERS CONTINUING TO SPEAK ABOUT THIS AS A *SUPERFICIAL NOISE* PROBLEM. SUGGESTING THE CITIZENS ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT A LITTLE NOISE, PEGGING THE COMPLAINERS AS BEING INSENSITIVE TO SAFETY CONCERNS IN THE SKY IS AN EFFORT TO DISCREDIT OUR CONCERNS AND THE TRUE NATURE OF THIS BEAST! IT IS EASY TO CONTINUE TO REPORT, IGNORE, AND DEVALUE NOISE COMPLAINTS THAN TO PUT THE TRUE EFFECTS AND STORIES OF THE EVERYDAY CITIZEN’S LIFE UNDER THIS DESTRUCTIVE FORCE FRONT AND CENTER, AND HAVE ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS PLACED UNDER FIRE FOR NOT IMMEDIATELY TAKING ACTION AND CONTINUOUSLY DENOUNCING THE INNOVATIVE WRECKING BALL THAT IS NEXTGEN. THIS CRUEL, DESTRUCTIVE, TORTURING, AND IMPRISONING FAILED CONCEPT NEEDS A BIGGER STAGE AND EXPOSURE. IT IS A VERY REAL INCREASING HORROR FOR THE AVERAGE CITIZEN. HOW CAN YOUR PLATFORM FOR CONTINUING TO IMPLEMENT NEXTGEN ACROSS THE COUNTRY BE *SAFETY* WHEN SAFETY FOR 100s of thousands of CITIZENS IS COMPROMISED DAILY?! IT JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO ME AT ALL! SINCE FAA WON’T LET ME SLEEP OR REST I PLAN TO SPEND EVERY WAKING MOMENT, and that’s a lot of Damn hours since the brilliance of NEXTGEN, DISCREDITING YOUR DISINGENUOUS SAFETY APPROACH! I AM NOT SAFE WHEN TRYING TO DROWN OUT THE AIRCRAFT NOISE I DIDN’T HEAR MY FIRE ALARMS GOING OFF AND COULD HAVE BURNED MY DAMN HOUSE DOWN! THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE CREATING ON THE GROUND FOR CITIZENS! IMMINENT DEATH!
    I am actually seeing black specs and CHEMTRAILS constantly on and over my home. This is visible, obvious pollution. WHY WASN’T THE STAIR-STEP PERFECTED INSTEAD OF DESTROYING LIVABLE LAND AND INCREASING NOISE AND EXHAUST POLLUTION, LOWER LONGER, INCREASING HEALTH CONCERNS ACROSS THE NATION? THIS CONCEPT IS BACKWARDS THINKING AND ENVIRONMENTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE….AS EVERY OTHER INNOVATION DOES MORE WITH LESS AND MAKES PEOPLE’S LIVES BETTER! NEXTGEN NEEDS MORE LAND TO OPERATE “EFFICIENTLY” IN AN ALREADY RESOURCE DEPLETING ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS, MORE SPACE INSTEAD OF MODERNIZING AND WORKING WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE STAIR-STEP, AND PREVIOUSLY DESIGNED FLIGHT PATHS THAT WERE BENEFICIAL TO SKY AND LAND SAFETY, IMPROVING ON LESS LIFE INTRUSIVE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSUMING AND POLLUTING CONCEPT AND PERFECTING THAT WAS THE WAY TO GO. LAND IS AT A PREMIUM AND NEXTGEN IS A CONCEPT THAT FLIES LOWER LONGER ACROSS ALL THE LIVABLE LAND AND MAKING IT UNINHABITABLE RUNWAYS?

  2. A SACRIFICE I AM BEING FORCED TO MAKE. MY DREAM HOME HAS TURNED INTO MY NIGHTMARE BECAUSE BWI GETS TO USE MY HOME AS AN OUTPOST WITH NEXTGEN. A CONCEPT PACKAGED WITH A PRETTY BOW AS A NEXT GENERATION IMPROVEMENT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. PROVING TO BE EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE FOR MANY CITIZENS SUFFERING AND SLOWLY DYING UNDER THE EXTREME TORTURE! OUR LIVES ARE A MURDEROUS SACRIFICE FAA SEEMS WILLING TO USE TO BOOST THE “BOTTOM LINE”. FAA HAS BEEN TRANSPARENTLY HOSTILE TO THE AMERICAN CITIZEN’S SAFETY CONCERNS ON THE GROUND SINCE THE LAUNCH OF THE DEADLY, DESTRUCTIVE, VANDALIZING, POLLUTING, JETQUAKING WRECKING BALL “INNOVATION” HIT US LIKE A TON OF “NO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT” BRICKS!!!! THEY GLOSSED OVER THE DANGEROUS LIFE BOMBING AFFECTS OF NEXTGEN TO GET IT IN PLAY AND REFUSE TO ADJUST THE CHAOS TO HELP THE CITIZENS FOOTING THE BILL!!!! HAD THIS CONCEPT BEEN PRESENTED AS THE TORTUROUS, AIR AND POLLUTING POWERHOUSE IT HAS SHOWN TO BE, I WOULD HAVE HOPED OUR CONGRESS WOULD HAVE STOMPED THE FIRE OUT IMMEDIATELY! I HAVE LIVED UNDER NEXTGEN FOR 4 YEARS AND HAVE NOT SLEPT MORE THAN 5 HOURS ANY NIGHT IN MY HOME BECAUSE I AM ON A 24/7, 365 days, WONCE TERPZ ROUTE, OUT OF THE AIRPORT BRINGING THESE MASSIVE JETS WITHIN A MILE OVER MY HOME HUNDREDS OF TIMES A DAY. I AND OTHERS BOUGHT IN CUL-DE-SACS AND LOW THROUGH TRAFFIC NEIGHBORHOODS ONLY TO HAVE A CONSTANT STREAM OF DUMP TRUCK LIKE NOISE AND HOME FOUNDATION SHAKING SKYWAY DESTROY OUR HOMES FROM ABOVE. MY HEALTH, JOB, AND STRUCTURE OF MY HOME IS UNDER ATTACK EVERYDAY AND I STRUGGLE WITH THE SIMPLE THINGS LIKE ACCURACY TO DO MY JOB, DRIVING SAFELY, AND COURTESY I HAD IN SPADES, TO ALMOST A CONSTANT ANGER TOWARD MY FELLOW CITIZENS DUE TO LACK OF THE BASIC HOME PURPOSE AS A RELAXING RETREAT TO AT LEAST SLEEP IN!!!! PLEASE HELP. WE CITIZENS NEED YOU TO PROTECT US AND REPRESENT US! I CAN’T LIVE LIKE THIS ANYMORE. THE PLANES NEVER STOP BECAUSE DISPERSEMENT WAS A REGULATION THAT OUTLIVED IT’S USEFULNESS? AT THIS RATE, I WILL NOT OUTLIVE NEXTGEN, CONSTANTLY LIFE BOMBING ME!

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