ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix mayor to urge FAA to undo flight path changes at Sky Harbor

Jan 20, 2015, 6:16 AM | Updated: 6:16 am

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PHOENIX — Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will be in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to take part in the U.S. Conference of Mayors — and he said there will be plenty more to do than simply congratulate the mayors of Seattle and Boston on their NFL teams’ Super Bowl berths.

Stanton said one of his top priorities during his trip will be to meet with the Federal Aviation Administration about the change in departure routes at Sky Harbor Airport, which has led to a wealth of noise complaints.

“When they came up with the new departure routes, they had no public meetings (and) they didn’t inform the communities that were affected in such a negative way,” he said. “That’s not the way to do business.”

Through working with the FAA, Stanton said he’ll look to express the anger generated by the changes, and possibly solve the problem. He hopes a solution can be negotiated without legal action.

“I still remain optimistic that we’re going to get a good resolution to that dilemma. Hopefully we can do it short of litigation; we don’t want to head in that direction if we don’t have to,” he said.

“We want to get the FAA to do the right thing (and) the right thing under these circumstances would be to go back to the original departure route.”

Stanton will also look to discuss additional funding for infrastructure and transportation, particularly for the Department of Transportation and its Highway Trust Fund, which is projected to have a budget shortfall by the end of the fiscal year.

“Look, we need a highway bill,” he said. “The Highway Trust Fund has to be funded in order for this country to advance. That’s an important infrastructure measure, so we’re uniting behind that.”

Stanton said the federal government needs to invest in cities, and transportation infrastructure is one of the best ways to do that.

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Phoenix mayor to urge FAA to undo flight path changes at Sky Harbor