News Article - June 12, 2009

By Phil Heron,

  Score one for Goliath. David just got knocked on his kiester. No one should be surprised that a federal court backed the Federal Aviation Administrationís position in implementing new flight paths at Philadelphia International Airport. In almost every instance when the FAA has been challenged in court, the little guy has lost.

   Delaware County threw just about everything but a couple of 747s at the FAA in attempts to ground the unpopular plan that allows planes to veer out over heavily populated areas of the county at much lower altitudes than before. U.S. Reps. Joe Sestak, D-7, and Rob Andrews, D-N.J., also joined the fray. Didnít much matter.

   What happens now? The focus likely will turn away from the redesigned flight paths to a battle brewing with the city of Philadelphia, which wants to acquire land in Tinicum in order to expand runways at the airport. Reducing delays at the airport is a good thing. No one is arguing that.

   What has been argued is whether the flight path change would actually do that, and if it could not be accomplished by diverting more planes to other regional airports. But you canít mandate the way people like to travel. They are going to continue to use Philadelphia International. Which means flights there need to run on time. Which means we likely need to get used to our noisy neighbor. Talk to the folks down in Tinicum. Theyíve been doing it for years.

Source - Daily Times