Appeals court strikes down controversial Sky Harbor flight paths

Bryon Darby

However, the order won’t take effect until the FAA has an opportunity to request a rehearing

By Jessica Boehm | The Republic

After years of neighborhood complaints and criticism of the Federal Aviation Administration, a panel of appellate judges struck down controversial flight paths implemented at Sky Harbor International Airport in 2014.

In a 2-1 decision released Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit agreed with residents and Phoenix officials that the FAA didn’t properly analyze the impact of flight path changes that resulted in a barrage of community pushback after taking effect.

“The FAA took this step that negatively impacted the lives of thousands of Phoenix residents without seeking meaningful input from our community or the city. That’s just wrong,” Mayor Greg Stanton said in a statement. “Today’s decision affirms that FAA needs to go back to the drawing board and do this right.”

The FAA changed the flight paths in September 2014 as part of the national NextGen program aimed at improving safety and efficiency.

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