City of Phoenix hears from citizens over flight path changes

A community meeting was held Monday evening, trying to settle a heated topic over Sky Harbor's flight paths, and how they affect certain Phoenix neighborhoods.

People at the meeting learned the Federal Aviation Administration will release some draft-flight-path alternatives sometime this week or next, but it could take six months to a year before those alternatives might go into effect.

That means people who are hoping for some relief from air traffic noise will not be getting it anytime soon.

The Phoenix City Council Chamber was filled with residents concerned about changes to the flight paths last September which they say has drastically increased the noise over their homes and reduced their quality of life.

"They fly directly over my home, and I was wondering about the alternative methods as well. Because it has had an impact on my quality of life, my health is impacted, and I'm hoping we will change that," said Halima Griffin.

The City of Phoenix installed 37 noise monitoring stations in locations around the valley last month. They shared the results with those attending the meeting.

The results bolster the city's contention that revised flight paths for Sky Harbor significantly increased noise in several neighborhoods.

Spurred by residents' complaints, city officials are pushing the Federal Aviation Administration to change flight paths that the FAA implemented last September.

Rob Adams of Landrum and Brown Aviation Planning said the monitoring results contradict statements about current noise levels from overhead aircraft not exceeding background noise levels.

The new flight paths are part of a nationwide effort to streamline aircraft routing for safety and fuel efficiency.

People like Jose Reynolds say the noise over his home is sometimes unbearable.

"I'm very upset, I mean it's very disturbing, and I mean the conversation I'm having with you right now, when the jets fly over, you can't hear me," said Jose Reynolds.

It was also announced that the City of Phoenix has hired an outside law firm to launch an investigation to find out exactly when city staff learned of the changes to the flight path, since it was never disclosed to the public until the new flight paths started six months ago.

"The investigation will be across the full chain of command in these work areas, not just with an employee and employees who may have been directly involved," said Paul Blue, Deputy City Manager.

The city will also be holding three more community outreach meetings over the next week. If you'd like to check out the times and locations.visit: https://skyharbor.com/flightpaths/

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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