FAA's New York Region Airspace Redesign Wins In Court

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The FAA's plan to redesign the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia region airspace cleared a key legal barrier last week when a court struck down a group of legal challenges, the FAA said on Monday. A federal appeals court ruled on June 10 that the FAA can continue to move ahead as planned. Challenges had been filed by several state and local governments in the region, as well as a citizens group, claiming that the FAA didn't properly perform an environmental impact study of the changes in air traffic patterns that would result from the redesign. The court disagreed. "The FAA's environmental impact analysis was procedurally sound and substantively reasonable," the court wrote in its decision.

The FAA says the redesign will help reduce delays by about 20 percent, and NBAA agrees. "This is welcome news for everyone," Steve Brown, NBAA's vice president for operations, told AVweb on Tuesday. "This redesign is absolutely a good thing for airspace users. It will make traffic flow more efficiently, with fewer delays. It will save fuel and increase capacity." The redesign will be completed in 2012, the FAA said. Opponents to the plan say it will subject residential neighborhoods to too much noise. An appeal is expected, according to Business Week.