Several members of Maryland’s mostly Democratic congressional delegation respond to the dispute between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and neighbors of Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI). The FAA is being urged to take swift action to make necessary alterations to flight patterns that are responsible for the “unacceptable and unsustainable” noise.
Residents in Howard and Anne Arundel counties that live in close proximity of BWI have said that the updated air traffic control system, with new flight routes have generated intolerable noise. The FAA urged BWI neighbors to develop a functioning group to garner community input.
On March 21, the group met and unanimously approved a resolution urging FAA to return to the previous flight paths. On Tuesday, Maryland’s federal lawmakers wrote a letter to Michael P. Huerta, FAA administrator, lending their support to that resolution and urging action.
“These residents cannot work or study at home, converse in a normal tone of voice, sleep well or simply have the quiet enjoyment of their property,” the lawmakers wrote.” It is essential to provide relief to the affected residents until an acceptable solution can be devised.”
The new flight paths were part of a $35 billion nationwide air traffic system revamp, NextGen, in an attempt to modernize routes, reduce carbon emissions and save airlines $160 billion in fuel and other expenses by 2030.
However, the new flight patterns have provoked litigation and protest nationwide. The homeowners invested in property under the belief that airport noise was probable, but instead have been confronted with lower aircraft and new flight patterns.
Previously, the Howard County Council passed legislation authorizing its law office to file a lawsuit against the FAA over the flight pattern issue.
Representatives C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Elijah Cummings, Johns Sarbanes, John Delaney, Steny Hoyer, Jamie Raskin and Anthony Brown signed the delegation letter, along with Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen.