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Headlines and Top Story- Updated January 17, 2018

State Law Challenge to FAA-Santa Monica Pact Dismissed, Shortened Runway Opens
- GAO Finds Aircraft Cockpit and Cabin Noise Within Safe Limits
- UK Aviation Industry Sees Growth with Fewer People Impacted By Noise
Airport’s Economic Benefits found to Outweigh Environmental Costs
- Electric-Powered Aircraft Introduced in Australia
- Aircraft Noise Linked to Poorer Quality of Sleep
- FAA, Phoenix Seek Court Approval of Plan to Revise Flight Paths
- Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens Collaborate on Hybrid Electric Propulsion
- ONCC Okays Interim O’Hare Fly Quiet Night-Time Runway Rotation Scheme
- ACRP Examines Community Responses to Helicopter Noise
- Proposals Sought for Airport Environmental Research Roadmap


FAA Reaches Tentative Agreement with
Newport Beach on Airport Flight Paths

The City of Newport Beach, Calif., and FAA have settled their dispute over noise from changes in flight paths of aircraft departing from John Wayne Airport (SNA). The tentative agreement ends litigation initiated by the city after FAA introduced new NextGen departure flight paths last May that brought planes closer to residences. 

Subject to final approval by FAA and the U.S. Dept. of Justice, flight paths will keep between existing noise monitors and FAA will design and study a precision-based curved departure procedure that avoids as many residential areas as possible by following the profile of Upper Newport Bay. 

“Further, the FAA agreed to ensure all future changes to flight paths will be fully analyzed anew under the National Environmental Policy Act,” according to a city statement. “Finally, additional protections were secured against excessive early offshore turns that, if allowed, would bring certain departures closer to Corona del Mar and Newport Coast.”

Commercial air carrier operations at SNA are regulated by the Commercial Airline Access Plan and Regulation, which places restrictions on operational capacity, hours of operations, and noise levels at 10 noise monitoring stations, and general aviation operations are subject to daytime and curfew noise limits. Newport Beach and Orange County have a Cooperative Agreement designed to promote compatibility between operations at the airport and land uses within and close to the city. 

“We have appreciated how the FAA’s design staff has worked with us through these challenging talks,” said city manager Dave Kiff. “This demonstrates the FAA’s commitment to continuing to work with our community and the airport on a going-forward basis, and I admire that. This gives me optimism for the future that our other concerns can be thoughtfully addressed, too.”

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