Judge orders mediation in flight path dispute

- A battle has been brewing since 2014 between residents in the City of Phoenix and the FAA. At issue are flight path changes that take planes directly over some historic neighborhoods.

Now the parties could be one step closer to resolving things. A judge has ordered that the FAA and City of Phoenix try and work out an agreement in mediation.

The FAA made the changes citing safety and reduced emissions, but the City of Phoenix has received thousands of complaints and then took the issue to court. They say the FAA didn't properly study how the change would impact resident. Now that the court has moved the issue into mediation, it's potentially avoiding a lengthy legal battle.

Marge and Gerry McCue have lived in their historic downtown Phoenix home for 55 years. Gerry loves the community so much that he draws it in his free time. But what the couple cannot stand is the noisy neighbors up above.

"I'm really annoyed, you go here, they come again, and mentally it takes you down and distracts you," said Gerry McCue.

Since the FAA changed the flight path to go over these homes, frustrations have boiled over into court.

"Now we're being noised out," he said.

A judge has asked the FAA to resolve the issue with the City of Phoenix and the residents in mediation, some residents here are feeling cautiously optimistic.

"We would like the FAA to change the flights paths back to what it was, we certainly think there is room for compromise with how the flight path as it is today, and flight path as it was, that's what we welcome," said Steve Dreiseszun.

Residents say the planes up above are not only noisy, they say the whole issue is devaluing their property.

"The property owners are losing money while someone else is saving fuel, and I don't think that is reasonable at all," said Marge McCue.

"This is my equity, if I go to sell to have the money to finish my days, well I'll say I just lost 30% of equity," said Gerry.

For the McCues, the only humming they want to hear over their patio are the birds.

The FAA only said they plan to participate in the mediation.

The City of Phoenix and a private attorney for the neighborhood says they hope to find a resolution. However they note the mediation is not binding, which means without an agreement, the issue could head back to court.

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