2002-12-21 / Community

Rockaway Flight Path Problems Replicated In Arizona Venues

Rockaway Flight Path Problems Replicated In Arizona Venues

While Rockaway has yet to file suit against the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) for continued overflights of the peninsula and for lying about its new plan to reroute aircraft to other routes, a number of venues throughout the nation that have similar problems with overflights have been more proactive in their battles with the federal agency.

A case in point that The Wave has addressed in previous issues is the area around Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona.

Three local communities have been fighting the FAA for a new plan that brings a drastically increased number of flights over their retirement homes. They have sued to stop the plan and have filed Freedom Of Information Law (FOIL) requests to get information on the number of flights actually passing over their homes. So far, the FAA has not been forthcoming and has actually refused the FOIL requests.

The following is from the Arizona Republic newspaper.

"The Federal Aviation Administration is refusing to turn over more than 7,000 documents relating to its controversial Northwest 2000 flight rerouting plan.

"The plan, which has routed nearly 300 planes a day from Sky Harbor International Airport over the Northeast Valley since February, has been criticized by residents because of the additional noise.

"On Tuesday, Paradise Valley town officials said they were considering joining a lawsuit against the FAA.

Residents from Cave Creek, Carefree and north Scottsdale filed the suit against the FAA but have been rebuffed in their attempt to obtain 7,660 documents related to Northwest 2000. The documents consist primarily of inter-agency communications.

"The offices of Sen. John McCain and Reps. J.D. Hayworth and John Shadegg have also requested the documents, but have been unsuccessful.

"The Scottsdale Republic has filed a Freedom of Information Act for the documents as well.

"The FAA justified its decision under Exemption 5, which can be used to protect government materials that contain opinions and recommendations by agency staff members in making policy decisions or implementing plans.

"These are core government records and their contents belong to the people," said Arizona Republic attorney David Bodney."

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