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D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has joined residents and Georgetown University in objecting to new flight paths out of Reagan National Airport, instituted last year, that they say have generated bothersome noise.
In a one-page letter to the Federal Aviation Administration dated May 6 and announced today, Racine urges the agency to reconsider the routes. D.C. and Virginia residents along the Potomac River argue that they disrupt their quality of life, interfering with sleep and peace of mind. Though Racine isn’t the first official to come to those residents’ aid?D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton did so last year?his position adds pressure to the FAA to find solutions. Last August, Georgetown and community groups petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. to review the administration’s decision, which allegedly did not sufficiently assess potential impacts of the noise.
These new flight paths, implemented in 2015, permit aircraft departing Reagan National to the north to fly over Foggy Bottom, Georgetown University, Canal Road, and MacArthur Boulevard,” Racine writes in the letter. “The District residents in those areas have been seriously and adversely affected by the aircraft noise from these new flight paths.” Racine’s office notes that it is keeping an eye on the appeal filed last year, adding that a similar case out of New York in 2013 resulted in the FAA changing helicopters’ flight paths to circumvent residential areas.
An FAA spokesperson said on Tuesday morning that he had not seen the letter and declined to immediately comment.
Last year, Reagan saw more than 23 million total passengers, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. This was about a 10 percent increase over 2014 and about a 30 percent rise over 2010.
You can read Racine’s letter below: