Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced that the county has filed a second legal petition against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help alleviate problems with noise from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). The petition, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit this month, questions the FAA’s approval of a BWI expansion plan based on a lack of consideration of the adverse noise impacts to residents in the area.
“The county has attempted on several fronts to resolve complaints about the unacceptable noise from BWI flights and I am disappointed we have not gotten any meaningful cooperation,” said Ball. “Despite our multiple attempts to work out some relief for our residents, the FAA still believes it is appropriate to allow an airport expansion that would only make matters worse.”
Residents complain that new flight patterns, implemented in 2014 as part of the NextGen satellite-based navigation system, have increased the noise above their homes and harmed both the quality of their lives and their property values.
“We hear from constituents every day about the burden and impact of the NextGen flight patterns,” said County Council Chair Christiana Mercer Rigby. “Blocking the expansion would save our residents from additional noise pollution and further detriment to their lives and homes. A solution is long overdue for the residents of Howard County who are impacted by this expansion, and I applaud the County’s petition against the Federal Aviation Administration.”
If the county’s petition is successful, the FAA would be required to conduct additional noise studies before any expansion moves forward. That data would then also be used in discussions about the controversial NextGen flight paths.