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Frustration growing in Phoenix neighborhoods over Sky Harbor flight paths

PHOENIX — A second series of community meetings in Phoenix has begun to keep residents informed about the issues over the new FAA flight paths out of Sky Harbor Airport.

Data collected at 37 noise-monitoring stations located throughout the Phoenix were released to those who attended a meeting Monday.

It showed that the new flight paths are causing a significant noise increase in several neighborhoods compared to the previous flight patterns.

Data also showed that the jets flying overhead cause a large spike in the ambient noise level in those areas.

“The average (airplane noise level) is sitting at about 10 to 15 decibels higher (than ambient noise levels) and when you start talking about the peaks, you’re talking about somewhere around 20 decibels higher than the background noise,” Rob Adams, vice president at Landrum and Brown Aviation Planning, said.

According to Adams, FAA officials have made assertions that the new flight paths do not cause a spike over ambient noise levels. That conflicts with the data presented at the meeting.

“The FAA made some statements about the (airplane) noise levels not exceeding the background noise levels and I think that chart right there tells the story,” he said.

The FAA implemented the changes Sept. 18, 2014, in an effort to streamline flights using satellite-based navigation.

Since then, the city of Phoenix has received thousands of noise complaints related to the new flight patterns.

“My walls shake, that is how bad it is,” Jose Reynolds said.

Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski, who attended the meeting, expressed his frustration about the changes.

“…I’m mad and I’m angry because since September 18 our lives changed,” Nowakowski said.

The city has planned three more meetings to share data and answer questions from the public.

Here is a list of the remaining community meetings:

Date Time Place
March 26 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Cesar Chavez High cafeteria, 3921 W. Baseline Road, Laveen
March 28 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Burton Barr Central Library Pulliam Auditorium, 1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
April 1 6 p.m.-8 p.m. McLoughlin Community Center, 1150 S. Seventh Ave., Phoenix

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