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Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has reached out to Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta in response to residents’ concerns about noise, altitudes and environmental impacts of flight patterns at BWI airport. Kamenetz is supporting the DC Metroplex BWI Community Roundtable’s request that the FAA consider operational changes for flights taking off and landing at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

“It is clear that the flight patterns established several years ago have been a real hardship on people who live near BWI,” said Kamenetz. “Baltimore County has been participating in the Roundtable since its inception. As the group continues to work in good faith with the FAA toward a long term solution, the Roundtable is recommending some operational changes to help residents and communities in the short term. I strongly urge the FAA to review these operational changes and continue working with the Roundtable toward meaningful improvements.”

"The Roundtable greatly appreciates the steadfast and strident support Baltimore County Executive Kamenetz is providing to the Roundtable and the BWI communities,” said Lance Brasher, chairman of the DC Metroplex BWI Community Roundtable. “The changes requested by the Roundtable as described in County Executive Kamenetz's letter to the FAA are vital to begin providing relief to adversely affected residents. It is imperative they be implemented as soon as possible. “

The Roundtable is requesting that the FAA return to previous flight patterns and elevations. It is also requesting interim operational solutions at BWI while awaiting the response:

  • Approve a waiver to allow air traffic controllers to set flight courses that disperse departure flight paths.
  • Approve a waiver to allow air traffic controllers to create more flight path dispersion on arrivals.
  • Approve a procedure to require controllers and airlines to maintain altitudes at a minimum 4,000 feet.

“I look forward to a resolution of this issue,” concluded Kamenetz.

This is the text of the County Executive’s letter to the FAA Administrator:

Mr. Michael P. Huerta, Administrator

Federal Aviation Administration

800 Independence Avenue SW

Washington, DC 20591

RE:      DC Metroplex BWI Community Roundtable’s Request for Operational Relief Measures

Dear Mr. Huerta,

I am writing in support of the DC Metroplex BWI Community Roundtable’s requests for changes in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) operations at BWI Airport to help address concerns about noise, flight patterns, and the altitudes of planes taking off and landing at the airport. 

As you know, the group has requested the FAA revert back to the flight patterns and elevations before the next generation procedures were implemented, and there is an FAA PBN Working Group process in place to review that. In the interim, FAA officials met with the group and offered 3 operational changes that could be considered to help residents in the interim.

The Roundtable has been working for the last 6 months, in good faith with the FAA and MAA, seeking relief for the residents around the airport and in the central region of the State. The requested short term changes would allow all parties to carefully go through the PBN Working Group process knowing there is some help on the way for communities. These suggestions should not be confused with the formal request to revert back to the old flight patterns and altitudes, but they are changes that can help now and give some credibility to this process and the FAA.

The three changes are:

  1. Approve a waiver to allow air traffic controllers to vector aircraft to help disperse the flight paths better on departures.
  2. Approve a waiver to allow air traffic controllers to vector aircraft on a course to the line of intercept rather than to a fixed point to create more flight path dispersion on arrivals.
  3. Approve a procedure to require controllers and airlines to maintain slope intercepts out to 10 DME and beyond 10 DME to keep altitudes at least at 4000 to remedy the concerns with aircraft flying much lower than before Next-Gen procedures.

I think it is important for the FAA to review and approve these changes quickly, as a sign of good faith to the group and community. After all, the communities impacted by these issues have been at this for several years seeking help.  

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this issue.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017