Out of the 19 million people in Southern California, over 8.6 million will experience an increase in aircraft noise from the rollout of the FAA’s NextGen proposal. This past Saturday 150 Culver City residents and activists gathered for a #NoFlyDay rally in front of Culver City Hall. We were there to talk about Culver City noise and protest the FAA’s NextGen program. Touted as a program to improve efficiency and modernize our airspace, many of its implementations have also been marked by poor community interaction and increased noise. Culver City is just one many communities nationwide that held a rally this weekend..
Here in SoCal we just ended the public comment period for the proposed NextGen implementation. Almost all communities between Santa Barbara, San Diego and Palm Springs will be impacted by proposed NextGen changes. Many communities are going to be hit much harder than Culver City. In yesterday’s article by @TheCityMaven the FAA stated that [NextGen] will:
“reduce fuel consumption, aircraft emissions and noise over many neighborhoods,”
But this isn’t what their own research shows about the SoCal implementation:
There will be increase of fuel use by 8 metric tons (MT), and increase of CO2 emissions by 27 MT in the first year. Each additional year will increase more.
The FAA’s promise of reduced noise also doesn’t fly:
1.) When comparing those communities that will have a decrease in noise vs those that will experience increases, there will be a net increase of noise for 1.1 million people.
2.) Some communities will have noise increases up to 9dB DNL. But due to these occurring under the FAA’s threshold, these are not being called “significant.”
3.) In Culver City the late-night flight path will be lowered 1000 ft. The FAA’s day-long metric averages thousands of ambient aircraft noise sources- but fails to represent how the noise from those individual planes, flying lower over our homes, late at night, will be louder. Despite what this number may be in modeling, people on the ground know that lower equals louder.
By eliminating noise abatement procedures, lowering and narrowing flight paths, NextGen procedures are bringing more planes closer to the ground and concentrating noise pathways.
The FAA may be just following procedures but that doesn’t mean those procedures are “just” or correct. NextGen, as implemented by the FAA, carries disproportionate burdens to people on the ground.