University City residents are living under aircraft overflights and noise that compromise health and safety. As noted by Ron Belanger, co-president of CASA, SOCAL TRACON (the local FAA air traffic control) staffing has been reduced from five to only one controller for the San Diego region due to COVID-19 restrictions. Lindberg Field has less traffic now, but all other airports are at normal levels.
With fewer controllers juggling more flights, long-established noise and safety procedures are being cut short. The shortcuts take the pilots and their aircraft directly over the most heavily populated areas of University City, including homes, schools and hospitals. The result is more low level, noisy overflights and a reduction in safety.
Previously, most non-compliant departures were caused by pilots ignoring procedures. Lately the cause is overworked controllers. Now, MCAS Miramar pilots who aren’t offered the shortcut are asking for it and getting it most of the time. This is legal if the controller approves, but reduces our neighborhood’s safety margin. The safety and noise reduction benefit of flying DoD / FAA mandated departure routes is lost.
CASA continues a dialog with the FAA and Miramar; and have requested a meeting with the FAA. In addition, members have drafted a letter to Congressman Scott Peters requesting his help with the EPA to solve noise and safety problems caused by Miramar pilots’ non-compliance with mandated departure routes.
For more information about the safety efforts of CASA, please contact Ron Belanger through the group email address at CitizensAdvocatingSafeAviation@gmail.com.
For related posts, visit https://www.universitycitynews.org/category/miramar/
For information about Citizens Advocating Safe Aviation, visit https://www.universitycitynews.org/c-a-s-a-citizens-advocating-safe-aviation/