Scottsdale has increased its legal defense in its continuing fight with the Federal Aviation Administration, but mediation will be attempted before the dispute moves any further. The dispute concerns flight changes implemented in 2014 that officials say harmed area residents.
The legal contract stipulates that legal services will be provided for the petition to review the flight path that was filed in the DC circuit court of appeals. There have been three extensions thus far with the case and it is not on the docket for October. But in the meantime, the most recent filing was required because parties have agreed to attempt mediation.
In addition to the flight path, the 2014 update also included a new satellite GPS called NextGen. The system guides arrivals and departures of airplanes to and from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
The new plans resulted in airplanes that previously few over mostly unpopulated areas being compressed and moved into a narrow highway of travel that flies over densely populated areas.
According to Scottsdale officials and residents, the city will deal with an unfair burden of the updated flight routes. This is expected to impact many residents in the area. Efforts have been made since 2014 to mitigate the high traffic, but the dispute eventually led to legal action. The FAA has been reluctant to redo flight paths and take into consideration the concerns of Scottsdale residents.
Airport records show they have received noise complaints from residents every month from Scottsdale ZIP codes since the updates were made.