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New Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Flight Paths Similar To Those Before September 2014

Sky Harbor
Al Macias/KJZZ
file | staff
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced that aircraft departing from Phoenix Sky Harbor will start using two new routes today. On September 18, 2014, the FAA implemented its new satellite-based system called Next Gen.

It was supposed to improve safety and efficiency. Instead, it caused a lot of noise in parts of Phoenix.

Some Central Phoenix residents and the City of Phoenix fought the FAA and on Thursday, the agency announced the first step in an agreement to rectify the situation. 

"The routes we’re implementing today are for aircraft that turn north or that continue westward after departing from Sky Harbor and they approximate as much as possible the flight paths that were in place before we made changes in September 2014," Ian Gregor, FAA spokesman, said.

"This is a two-step process," he added. "Once we address the westerly routes, were going to take a look at those routes, see if they work as intended, see if any changes need to made and we’re also going to consider all the public feedback we got about routes throughout the Phoenix area."

Gregor said that could include feedback from people living near other airports in Valley cities. He also said the FAA is currently working through an environmental process for a proposed southwest departure route and decision on that will be made before May 24. 

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.