News Article - January 16, 2008

  Media - Delaware County Council asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia to reconsider its decision against staying the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) flight redesign, council members said yesterday. The action comes as part of a litigation effort against the FAA begun in September. The suit asks the Court to determine whether the airspace plan violates federal environmental guidelines. Potential noise pollution resulting from the routing of flights from Philadelphia International Airport over Delaware County has concerned many residents.

   The council maintains that it is unreasonable for the FAA to begin, as it did in late December, sending flights on the new routes until the Court arrives at a determination on the plan's legitimacy. A three-member court panel initially ruled against staying the plan's implementation. The council is asking the full court to convene and look at the matter anew. "We're going to continue this action against the FAA," Council Vice Chairman Jack Whelan said. "We've been working over the holidays."

   County Council reports that the courthouse has constantly gotten emails and calls from those whose homes lie below the paths of these new flights. A Prospect Park woman said her sleep has been disturbed as planes fly by from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. "In one day, the FAA has forever changed our community," a man from Ridley Park wrote. "As I sit here on Saturday night, the planes fly over my house every three to five minutes."

   Mr. Whelan also noted hearing that the airport has received numerous protests from area residents regarding the noise resulting from the airspace redesign. "We are told that people are flooding the airport's noise hotline with complaints," he said. The councilman said the county has requested the airport and the FAA to provide current figures on how many planes are authorized to go by each day. He said both entities have declined to do so.

Source - Evening Bulletin