FAA changing departure routes for many flights from Phoenix

- The Federal Aviation Administration is largely reverting to old routes for many flights departing Phoenix's main airport as the latest step in resolving a years-long fight over aircraft noise.

The FAA says the re-routing taking effect Thursday for planes departing Sky Harbor International Airport to the west implements an agreement between the agency, the city and residents of historic neighborhoods that objected to increased noise from departure routes implemented in 2014.

Earlier this year, the FAA conducted three public workshops for residents to give input on a new round of flight path changes -- something residents say should've happened from the beginning.

"People are pleased. They have a chance to sit outside and have a cup of coffee. They can sit and watch the world go by, they aren't dominated by the sound of engines flying over their heads," said Steve Dreiseszun, a historic neighborhood advocate.     

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says the changed routes are for planes taking off to the west and then either continuing westward or turning north.

For now, the flight paths to the southwest will remain as is until the FAA can address some environmental concerns.

Phoenix and neighborhood groups last year won a legal victory when a court ruled that that FAA was "arbitrary and capricious" in making the 2014 changes as part of an air traffic modernization plan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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