New York Airspace Redesign Moving Forward
The New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Metropolitan Area Airspace Redesign, which is intended to reduce delays in this heavy air traffic area, cleared a “key legal barrier” after a court struck down a group of legal challenges, the FAA said yesterday. A federal appeals court recently ruled that the FAA can move ahead as planned with the redesign, striking down legal challenges filed by the State of Connecticut, towns and counties in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Connecticut and a citizens group. Filed two years ago, the lawsuits alleged that the FAA didn’t properly perform an environmental impact study of the changes in air traffic patterns that the agency made as part of the redesign. A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia disagreed in its decision, saying, “The FAA’s environmental impact analysis was procedurally sound and substantively reasonable.” The FAA is currently implementing the second of four redesign stages. It is estimated that, once completed in 2012, the redesign will help reduce delays by approximately 20 percent in the area, as well as reduce noise and curb airplane fuel consumption and emissions.