Montgomery County officials take first step in suing FAA

Berliner hopes to hire Dentons Law Firm in case

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. - "I've started wearing earplugs at night because I can't sleep otherwise; it's absolutely relentless," said Anne Hollander, member of Montgomery County's Quiet Skies Coalition.

The county took a step forward this week in suing the culprit of the area's increased noise pollution, the Federal Aviation Administration.

Executive Ike Leggett agreed to submit a $7500 supplemental budget request to the county council, which would pay Dentons Law Firm to create a legal memorandum on the issue.

"You will hear this [noise from planes] every 90 seconds to two minutes,” said Council President Roger Berliner, Montgomery County, MD.

It's the result of new nationwide flight procedures, called NextGen, which employs technology to allow flights to get from Point A to Point B more directly.

The process significantly condensed flight paths.

"I understand that they save dollars by having a more focused flight path, but then we have to weigh that against the harm to communities,” said Council President Roger Berliner, Montgomery County, MD.

Meanwhile, the FAA also rerouted several routes to DCA once over Virginia, to now, over Montgomery County neighborhoods.

The county's Quiet Skies Coalition was originated last September; it works with residents, elected officials, and the FAA to resolve the recent increase in noise levels.

The coalition says it's not a Maryland versus Virginia situation; they're just pushing for a more equitable distribution of flight paths in the D.C. area.

"We're not the only ones that have this issue; there are something like 50 coalitions like ours challenging the FAA's implementation of the same plan at other airports,” said T. Reid Lewis, member of Montgomery County's Quiet Skies Coalition.

While the coalition is confident in its evidence against the FAA, Berliner admits that winning a lawsuit may not be in the county's cards.

However, he is hopeful it can draw more attention to the issue so that Congress may take action.

Don't Miss

Latest News

Video Center