The Federal Aviation Administration announced Jan. 5 that it would terminate its proposed changes to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) north flow departure procedures, known as LAZIR B. The agency said it based its decision on feedback from communities around the airport. If the LAZIR B plan had gone forward Cabin John likely would have seen and heard even more departures overhead.
However, this decision does not address the current volume of air traffic and consequent noise that Cabin John has been subjected to since December 2015 when the FAA made significant flight path changes using its NextGen technology. The NextGen system shifts air traffic from radar to GPS-based air traffic control and is the source of the more concentrated flight paths over Cabin John and other communities along the Potomac River. This issue is not unique to our area. Communities near airports around the country are experiencing similar airplane noise problems as the NextGen technology is being rolled out.
A growing number of government officials and local communities are working to address the noise problems from DCA arrivals and departures. Cabin John is being asked to join a coalition of Montgomery County communities working to mitigate the airplane noise. At its Jan. 25 meeting, the CJCA will discuss this issue further and vote on whether to align ourselves with this coalition.