Airspace Redesign Foes Want Their Day in Supreme Court

An alliance of 13 towns in Connecticut has launched an appeal to halt FAA plans to redesign the airspace surrounding New York's three major airports. The citizens' groups object on the basis of noise, safety and pollution. The FAA claims the new airspace configuration will reduce delays, and also reduce fuel consumption and aircraft emissions. Last month, Connecticut State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said he is preparing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to overrule the FAA. Blumenthal said the FAA knowingly used defective data on noise and traffic. For GA pilots, the new airspace could also represent a hardship. The outer rings of the New York Class B would be extended, and the outer layers of the "inverted wedding cake" configuration would also be lowered. That would force aircraft not cleared into the Class B airspace to fly lower. Several helicopter shuttle operations, for example, had agreed to maintain higher altitudes out of respect for noise impact on the communities they overfly in Connecticut and eastern Long Island.