Thursday, August 18, 2016
FAA schedules meeting on proposed flight path change toward Bethesda
A public workshop will be held on September 15 to discuss a proposed flight path change from Reagan National Airport along the Potomac River. The meeting will be held at 6:30 PM at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, which is located at 4805 Edgemoor Lane in Bethesda.
Under the proposed change, the path of jets departing Reagan National would move 1525' closer to the Maryland side of the Potomac from its current departure route. Essentially, neighborhoods in McLean would get a relative break at Bethesda and Palisades residents' expense (though, considering both communities are very wealthy, one has to wonder what would tip the political scales in any particular direction in this case). In official terms, however, the change is part of the NextGen program that the Federal Aviation Administration expects to have significant environmental and efficiency benefits.
Among those predicted benefits, the FAA says, will be the saving of 2.1 million gallons of jet fuel, and 18200 metric tons of carbon. The new flight paths will also improve on-time performance of airlines operating out of major U.S. cities, the agency forecasts.
The FAA says its "noise modeling" of May 2016 tells them that "there would be no significant noise impact" on communities near the new flight path. It should be noted that computer modeling is not the same as measuring actual noise levels in the real world environment.
Attendees will be able to speak individually with experts, and comment on the proposed flight path change. Those comments will be reviewed by the FAA before it makes its final determination this fall.
Map courtesy FAA