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Community Involvement — Phoenix (PHX)

Updates

October 9, 2018

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on May 24, 2018 implemented Step One of a two-step plan set forth in the agreement the agency entered into with the City of Phoenix and certain historic neighborhood associations following the decision in City of Phoenix, Arizona v. Huerta, 869 F.3d 963 (D.C. Circuit 2017). Step One modified the west-flow departure procedures at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. After the review and analysis of the flight track data for aircraft utilizing the Step One procedures, the FAA has determined that it has successfully met the requirement of approximating the western departure routes that were in place before September 2014.

Under Step Two, the FAA agreed to consider feedback on procedures throughout the Phoenix area — not just on the westerly departure routes. The FAA is currently considering comments received in February during three public workshops and the 15-day public comment period, along with the input from Phoenix air traffic control facilities and the users of the Phoenix airspace. Any further action taken under Step Two is at the discretion of the FAA and will be considered a new federal action subject to its own environmental review and procedural design process as required under FAA Order 1050.1 Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures and FAA Order 7100.41 Performance Based Navigation Implementation Process. This process could take up to two years to complete.

As part of the community involvement process, the FAA, in partnership and collaboration with the City of Phoenix, is planning to hold public workshops in February/March 2019 for Step Two. The FAA recognizes the importance and value of public input and will give meaningful consideration to comments received in conjunction with the upcoming workshops. We ask that you continue to monitor this webpage for updates on the dates and locations of the workshops.

Phoenix Step 2 Timeline - Tentative

February / March 2019

Public Workshops

Three public workshops will be held to provide information on Step 1 performance, provide an overview of comments collected during the initial public workshops regarding Step 2, and collect additional comments for consideration with regard to potential future actions. Any such future action would be solely at the FAA's discretion.

March / April 2019

Comment Collection

Comments will be gathered, analyzed and reviewed.

May / June 2019

Comment Responses

The FAA will provide topical responses to comments received from the workshops. The FAA will make a determination on what may be studied in Step 2.

June / July 2019

Step 2 Determination

The FAA will make a determination on whether to move forward on potential procedure design. If no procedures will be designed, then Step 2 will conclude.

November 2020 / May 2021

Procedure Design Process

Procedure design, environmental review, and procedure publication follow policies and procedures in accordance with FAA orders. Additional public workshops may be conducted in support of community involvement.

May 24, 2018

On May 24, 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will implement nine replacement Area Navigation (RNAV) Standard Instrument Departure (SID) procedures for aircraft that depart to the west at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. This action will complete Step One of a two-step plan set forth in the agreement the FAA entered into with the City of Phoenix and certain historic neighborhood associations (together the "Petitioners") as a result of the court order in City of Phoenix, Arizona v. Huerta, 869 F.3d 963 (D.C. Circuit 2017).

The procedures incorporate revisions the FAA made on March 29, 2018, and also will serve aircraft that turn south after departing to the west. They are aimed at providing noise relief to the Petitioners by approximating the westerly departure routes that were in place before the procedures at issue in the Phoenix v. Huerta lawsuit were published in September 2014.

The FAA carefully analyzed the potential environmental impacts of the May 24, 2018 amendments in the Final Environmental Review for Step One. A link to this document is available below. As noted in the document, one of the proposed procedures (called BROAK) was slightly redesigned to meet safety criteria and keep it sufficiently separated from nearby airspace that serves military operations.

As discussed in the Final Environmental Review, the FAA finds that the action is consistent with existing national environmental policies and objectives set forth in Section 101 of National Environmental Policy Act and other applicable environmental requirements. The FAA also finds the action will not significantly affect the quality of human environment or otherwise include any condition requiring consultation pursuant to Section 102(2)(C) of National Environmental Policy Act. Implementation of this action will not result in any extraordinary circumstances in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, "Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures." Based on the analysis, FAA is issuing this Categorical Exclusion/Record of Decision. The Categorical Exclusion/Record of Decision can be viewed in the link below this update.

The FAA considered public input in its decision-making process. The FAA held three public workshops in February 2018 on the proposed changes. It held a public comment period from February 1 to February 16, 2018 and received approximately 1,100 comments from private citizens and groups, elected officials, municipalities, and local, state and federal agencies. The FAA accepted comments submitted at the public workshops, online through the FAA Phoenix Community Involvement Website, via e-mail, and via US mail. There were approximately 845 comments related to Step One, which the FAA considered and categorized according to the topic/issue raised. Although the FAA will not respond individually to each comment, the FAA has prepared responses for each comment category. The responses are contained in Appendix F to the Final Environmental Review.

As mentioned above, the parties’ agreement also includes a second step (Step Two). One thing the FAA agreed to under Step Two was to develop RNAV procedures to supersede the Step One procedures. However, as part of Step One, the FAA has already developed RNAV procedures in consultation with the City of Phoenix and representatives from certain historic neighborhood associations, as well as with feedback from the public.

Under Step Two, the FAA also agreed to consider feedback on procedures throughout the Phoenix area — not just on the westerly departure routes. The FAA is in discussions with the City of Phoenix to determine how Step Two should proceed. The FAA will update this website with Step Two information in late July 2018. Any further action taken under Step Two would be at the FAA's discretion. In addition, any such action under Step Two would be a new federal action subject to its own environmental review.

Supplemental Materials

March 29, 2018

On March 29, 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is implementing two new west flow Area Navigation (RNAV) Standard Instrument Departure (SID) procedures from Runways 25 Left, 25 Right and 26 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. These amendments to air traffic procedures are part of the first step ("Step One") in implementing an agreement between the FAA and the Petitioners, City of Phoenix and certain historic neighborhood petitioners, as a result of the court decision in City of Phoenix, Arizona v. Huerta, 869 F.3d 963 (D.C. Cir. 2017).

The procedures that will be implemented on March 29 are for aircraft that turn north or continue westward after departing from Sky Harbor. Implementation of the proposed southwest departure corridor is pending further consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act so that the FAA can address certain issues that have been raised during this process.

The FAA intends to make a decision on the southwest departure changes before May 24, 2018. Until then, aircraft that turn south after departing to the west would follow the route that is currently in place.

The March 29 amendments, as well as the proposed southwest departure changes, are aimed at providing interim noise relief to the Petitioners by approximating the western departure routes that were in place before the RNAV procedures at issue in the Phoenix v. Huerta case were published in September 2014.

The FAA has carefully considered the two amended routes that will be implemented on March 29. For further information on this action, see the link below for the Final Environmental Review document dated March 2018.

As discussed therein, the FAA finds that the action is consistent with existing national environmental policies and objectives set forth in Section 101 of National Environmental Policy Act and other applicable environmental requirements and will not significantly affect the quality of human environment or otherwise include any condition requiring consultation pursuant to Section 102(2)(C) of National Environmental Policy Act. Implementation of this action will not result in any extraordinary circumstances in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, "Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures." The FAA finds the action described in the Final Environmental Review is reasonably supported and a Categorical Exclusion/Record of Decision is appropriate. The Categorical Exclusion/Record of Decision can be viewed in the link below this update.

As noted in the webpage update from March 23, the FAA received approximately 1,100 public comments during the public comment period. Below are updated general definitions that the FAA used to categorize the Step One comments. Complete, topical responses to the comments received during the comment period will be published in late May, 2018. The assignment of a comment to a category occurred if there was a direct reference to that category or definition.

  • Air Quality/Emissions — A reference to airborne pollutants and/or claims of breathing issues caused by the introduction or existence of aircraft, etc. The FAA received twenty (20) comments on potential air quality impacts. Some commenters wanted to know whether the Proposed Action would result in the exceedance of one or more of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for any time period analyzed, or a reference, or references, were made to pollutants directly related to jet exhaust, including soot, fuel (either visible residue or vapor odor), etc. There were seventeen (17) comments related to potential greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions or other pollutants resulting from the Proposed Action. Some commenters wanted more information on the level of GHG emissions and what potential harm could be caused by these impacts including on global climate change.
  • Biological — Referencing wildlife and/or habitats. The FAA received five (5) comments related to biological resources. Some of these comments related to the potential for bird or bat strikes by aircraft. Some commenters also asked whether the Proposed Action could impact endangered or threatened species.
  • Environmental Justice — References and/or claims to a decision to place flight paths or aircraft over low income or minority neighborhoods. The FAA received seven (7) comments on potential environmental justice impacts including more information on the location of environmental justice communities. The environmental justice analysis considered the potential of the Proposed Action to cause disproportionately high and adverse effects on low-income or minority populations due to significant impacts in other environmental impact categories.
  • Noise — A reference to noise directly related to aircraft that is either preexisting, or is expected to occur with the implementation of the proposed procedures. The majority of public comments on a specific environmental impact category related to noise impacts. This is normally the case for air traffic procedure changes or runway projects.
  • Section 106 — A reference to a specific resource or location that may require special consideration under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (i.e., historic or culturally significant properties). There were two (2) comments related to the potential impacts of Step One on historic properties. These issues included how potential noise impacts might affect historic properties.
  • Other — A comment or portion of a comment that did not fall into any of the other categories. This also includes comments that solely described support or opposition to Step One. With respect to Step One, the FAA, City of Phoenix and historic property groups agreed that revising western RNAV departure procedures at Phoenix Sky Harbor to approximate the western departures that were in place before the September 2014 RNAV procedures was an acceptable compromise for all parties. The FAA received 384 comments that were in favor of this agreement. FAA also received 244 comments that did not agree with this agreement, with some indicating that the current routes should remain in place. Other commenters wanted new routes developed all together. Some commenters also wanted procedures beside the western departure procedures changed. The remaining 33 comment categorized as "Other" included a reference or references that did not meet a definition described above for Air Quality/Emissions, Biological, Environmental Justice, Noise or Section 106.
  • Workshop Feedback — The FAA received 42 comments directly pertaining to the workshops (i.e., not related to air traffic, the proposed procedures, or the project itself).

    The FAA will release topical responses to all comments received for Step One in late May, 2018. Please continue to monitor this webpage for the latest information.

Supplemental Materials

March 23, 2018

Background and Community Involvement

This update and summary of comments provides information on FAA public/community involvement associated with the proposed two-step plan to address concerns about certain westerly departure routes that the FAA implemented in September 2014 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires Federal agencies to disclose to decision makers and the interested public a description of the potential environmental impacts that could arise from proposed Federal actions. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) implements NEPA through FAA Order 1050.1F, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures (FAA Order 1050.1).

The FAA recognizes the importance and value of public input in the environmental and historic resources review process. Therefore, the FAA used a variety of methods to conduct community outreach and solicit public comment. Notably, the FAA, with the assistance and cooperation of the City of Phoenix, held three public workshops in the greater Phoenix Metropolitan area between February 6, 2018 and February 8, 2018. The purpose of these workshops was to give the public a better understanding of the plan to address the concerns referenced above. In particular, the workshops informed the public about the proposed changes to western departure procedures at PHX.

The workshop format consisted of multiple stations where representatives from the FAA and the City were available to answer questions. Each station provided information on a specific topic. These stations included an Air Traffic Control and Procedures station; an Environmental Computer station, which allowed the public to input an address to learn whether it was in an area of reportable noise for the proposed action; an Environmental station; a Phoenix Airport station; a Legal station; a Feedback and Public Comment station; and an Interpreter/ADA1 station. There was also a video presentation about the proposed departure procedures that attendees were invited to view. All materials that were presented at the workshop were also available online on the FAA's Community Involvement website for Phoenix.

In addition to the public workshops, the FAA held a public comment period from February 1 to February 16, 2018. The FAA received approximately 1,100 comments from private citizens and groups, elected officials, municipalities, and local, state and federal agencies. The FAA accepted comments at the workshops, online using the FAA Phoenix Community Involvement Website, e-mail, and regular mail. Many of the same issues were raised by multiple commenters as discussed below. There were approximately 845 comments related to the proposed Step 1, and the FAA is in the process of analyzing and considering them. Although the FAA will not respond individually to each comment, the FAA will prepare a single comprehensive response for each category. Further, the FAA has considered these comments in developing the final design procedures and in making a final NEPA determination.

The FAA grouped the Step 1 comments into seven categories. The assignment of a comment to a category occurred if there was a direct reference to that category or definition. A comment that contained a reference to more than one category was assigned to the additional categories as applicable.

Below is a list of the categories and the number of Step 1 comments that fell within each category:

List of categories
Comment Category Number of Comments
Air quality/Emissions 38
Biological 5
Environmental Justice 7
Noise 549
Section 106 2
Other* 661
Workshop Comments/Feedback 42
* Contains all comments for Step 1 that did not reference any of the other six categories.

Below are the general definitions that the FAA used to categorize the Step 1 comments.

  • Air Quality/Emissions — A reference to airborne pollutants and claims of breathing issues or other health effects caused by the introduction or existence of aircraft emissions. May also include a reference to pollutants directly related to jet exhaust, including soot, and/or fuel (either visible residue or vapor odor).
  • Biological — Referencing wildlife and/or habitats.
  • Environmental Justice — References and/or claims to a decision to place flight paths or aircraft over low income or minority neighborhoods.
  • Noise — A reference to noise directly related to aircraft that is either preexisting, or is expected to occur with the implementation of the proposed procedures.
  • Section 106 — A reference to a specific resource or location that may require special consideration under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (i.e., historic or culturally significant properties).
  • Other — A comment or portion of a comment that did not fall into any of the other categories. Also includes comments that solely described support or opposition to Step 1
  • Workshop Feedback — A comment directly pertaining to the workshops (i.e., not related to air traffic, the proposed procedures, or the project itself).

Please continue to monitor this webpage for the latest information.


Footnote

1: The American Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that public meetings be accessible to members of the public who have a disability to ensure they have the opportunity to participate.

March 1, 2018

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is providing an update on the proposed changes to westerly departure routes for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The changes are part of a two-step plan that the FAA, the City of Phoenix and certain historic neighborhood associations jointly developed in response to a court ruling that called for canceling satellite-based routes that the FAA implemented in September 2014.

The changes under Step One of the plan were divided into two proposed publication dates - March 29, 2018, and May 24, 2018. The FAA is proposing to implement on March 29, 2018 revised westerly routes for aircraft that turn north or continue westward after departing from Sky Harbor. Implementation of the proposed southwest departure corridor is pending further consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act so that the FAA can address certain issues that have been raised during this process. The FAA intends to make a decision on the southwest departure changes prior to May 24, 2018. Until then, aircraft that turn south after departing to the west would follow the route that is currently in place.

The FAA, with the assistance and cooperation of the City of Phoenix, held three public workshops in the Phoenix area on February 6, 7 and 8, which were attended by more than 400 people. Attendees were able to speak with the FAA, City of Phoenix, and airport representatives who answered questions and explained the proposed Step One procedures. The FAA is also considering more than 1,100 comments that were submitted during the public comment period, which ran from February 1 to February 16, 2018.

Please see here for information on the court ruling and joint agreement.

February 26, 2018

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), with the assistance and cooperation of the City of Phoenix, held three public workshops in early February on a plan to address concerns about certain westerly routes that the FAA implemented in September 2014 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).

The comment period has closed for the proposed new Area Navigation Standard Instrument Departure procedures at PHX, as per the agreement stipulated in the Memorandum Regarding Implementation of Court Order per City of Phoenix, Arizona v. Huerta, 869 F.3d 963 (D.C. Circuit 2017).

The FAA, with the assistance and cooperation of the City, hosted three public workshops in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area between February 06, 2018 and February 08, 2018, as part of the community involvement process. Representatives from the FAA and the City were available to answer questions about those changes. All materials that were presented at the workshop are posted below.

The FAA accepted comments at the workshops and during the 16-day comment period that ended on February 16, 2018 at 11:59 pm PST. We are currently reviewing and considering all submitted comments. Please continue to monitor this webpage for the latest information.

Proposed Departure Procedure Changes

Supplemental Materials

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This page was originally published at: https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/nextgen_near_you/community_involvement/phx/