FAA looking to change Denver flight paths

Denver is one of the areas where the Federal Aviation Administration is looking to make changes that would make traffic more efficient and safer.

KUSA - Denver has some of the nation's heaviest traffic in the skies.

Now it’s one of the areas where the Federal Aviation Administration is looking to make changes that would make traffic more efficient and safer.

The FAA is hoping to use new technology and flying methods to keep these "highways in the sky" safe.

Donna Urban showed up to a public meeting Tuesday night worried about noise. She lives near Centennial Airport.

“I get woken up in the middle of the night,” Urban said. 

She was one of many people at the Greenwood Village City Hall to meet with the FAA, which is proposing to modify around 30 flight paths into seven airports, including Centennial Airport and DIA.

While pointing to a map of some of the proposed changes, Mark Ostronic with the FAA said, “All these blue lines are current flight tracks. These orange tracks are the proposed tracks and are almost identical.”

So why the changes? The FAA says it would help efficiency by offering planes a more direct path in and out of airports.

The FAA also wants to improve the way pilots land to save fuel and land more quietly, as well as reduce communication between pilots and controllers.

“The less communication back and forth the less chance of miscommunication,” Ostronic said. 

The FAA is also proposing two new routes from the north to separate out traffic from DIA, that's jumped from 1,300 flights a day in 1995 to 1,500, an increase of 15 percent. 

“When you have planes flying over all the time, it's miserable quality of life,” Urban said. 

Despite those concerns, the FAA says noise level won't change much.

“You are not going to see any difference on the ground with these procedures,” Ostronic said. 

The modifications are within existing flight routes, and when a plane is 12,000 feet in the air the changes won't change the noise levels. 

The proposed new paths wouldn't be heavily traveled, giving the example one of the routes would bring in around seven planes a day to Centennial Airport.

FAA knows they are running into skeptics, which is why they are holding these public meetings.

There are six more to go and an environmental assessment.

If the FAA does move forward with the changes they would be implemented in 2019.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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