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Maryland v. FAA: Petitioner's Brief Filed on January 16, 2019

posted Jan 23, 2019, 6:41 AM by Anne Hollander   [ updated Jan 24, 2019, 12:02 PM by MoCo Quiet Skies ]
The State of Maryland on January 16, 2019 filed a Petitioner's Brief in Appellate Court, challenging FAA’s arbitrary change of aircraft flight paths to Reagan National Airport.

The Montgomery County Quiet Skies Coalition ( applauds Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Attorney General Brian Frosh for taking legal action to protect Maryland citizens and resources from the damage and suffering caused by highly concentrated noise and emissions from airplane overflights into Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA).

Maryland’s legal action challenges the FAA’s deeply flawed decision in 2015 to move and simultaneously consolidate multiple flight procedures for airplanes approaching DCA into a single flight path over Maryland’s citizens and resources. As stated in Maryland’s legal brief filed last week in the U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit), the FAA in altering and consolidating the flight paths “provided no public notice of its plan, performed no noise analysis, and did not evaluate the potential impacts to historic resources, parks, or recreational areas.”

The brief further notes that there is “no evidence that the FAA performed any environmental analysis” before altering the approach paths to DCA from the north. “The FAA has never issued a public decision document explaining why, when, or how it revised the … approach procedures,” the brief says. “Instead, the FAA published the revisions only on a technical website maintained by the FAA for pilots, airlines, and air traffic controllers.”

The FAA’s altered flight path, the brief states, had the effect of shifting the brunt of the noise from aircraft approaching DCA “from west to east away from Virginia and into Maryland.”

The brief is a central part of Maryland’s petition for review in the Court of Appeals about how the FAA went about altering the approach flight paths, a move that has had adverse effects for thousands of people in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County residents, thousands of whom purchased their homes before an airplane superhighway was effectively and arbitrarily built over their neighborhoods, without their knowledge or input, hope that the Court will agree with Maryland and require the FAA to perform the legally required noise and environmental analyses, and to work with the State of Maryland to mitigate the impacts of DCA's aviation traffic on all affected communities.

Please click on the links below for:

-A copy of the State of Maryland's January 16, 2019 State of MD Opening Brief

-A copy of the January 23, 2019 MCQSC News Release Regarding MD v FAA Opening Brief 

-A copy of the January 10, 2019 MD v FAA Schedule Amended Order for Revised Briefing Schedule

A copy of these documents is also available on the Downloads and Templates tab under the "LAWSUIT_MD Lawsuit Court Documents (DCA & BWI)" folder.