New Altitude Proposal

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), has put forward a new proposal for altitude adjustments for commercial aircraft space, also referred to as Class B Airspace. Even though the FAA is confident that their Airspace Redesign Project will not be increasing the noise level, but reduce it, there are many agencies fighting the changes and suggesting that all the options and impacts have not been explored. The New Jersey Coalition Against Aircraft Noise has received a few documents that contradict the FAA findings and consist of reports sent through from different airports, stating the negative impact the reduction in altitude will have on the airport and surrounding areas.

The proposal for the New York skies wants to reduce the Class B Airspace from its present 3 000 feet, to 2 500 feet and in some places it is proposed to drop to 2 000 feet. Many believe that the increase in noise level is understated by the FAA and does not reflect its true impact. It is therefore been requested that an environmental impact study be done, to properly investigate how the proposed changes will affect those on the ground. The affects on the other industries will also be massive.

If the Class B Airspace is lowered, helicopter pilots will be given a lowered airspace, and in doing so they will be unable to reduce their noise impact. It will also affect their ability to operate, as many of them use routes across the metropolitan area and make use of the Class B Airspace. A great number of community members in the suburbs surrounding the airports have already submitted complaints, as the present altitudes have already caused nervous reactions and fear, and it is believed that lowering the altitude will be viewed as even more dangerous. Restoring the faith of the community in the safety of aviation has been an uphill battle, and changing the altitude for the Class B Airspace could jeopardize the progress made and damage the relationship between the public and the aviation industry. Areas such as the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge will also be suffering under the new proposal, as protected wildlife species will be bewildered and endangered by the outlines of the project.

The proposal will first be released in the Federal Register, which will give community members and agencies the opportunity to note their comments in regard to the proposal, which has become the object of great criticism and controversy. The majority of the aviation industry believe that it would be best for all concerned if the proposal is not brought into effect, but only time will tell how this critical issue unfolds.