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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering implementing new flight path changes that some fear could cause noise problems for the Point Loma area. The changes come from the FAA SoCal Metroplex Study which proposes changes that would route east bound plans west over the ocean then back around over the Point Loma area.

“As a result of the proposed plans plane flights would be able to fly directly over PLNU and our neighbors,” said PLNU’s Vice President of External Relations, Joe Watkins in an email to the school’s faculty and staff.
“I don’t want to imagine the impact plane flights over campus would have on our classroom and chapel environments,” he said.

Watkins added that PLNU has submitted comments to the FAA about the proposed changes.

“The proposed flight path changes would eliminate the current LOWMA flight path which encourages air traffic to go to the southern point of the peninsula before turning for eastbound departures,” said Watkins.

The SoCal Metroplex report claims its practice is to focus “on a geographic area, rather than a single airport.”

The FAA also released an Environmental Assessment to identify any possible environmental impacts caused by the proposed changes. According to the assessment report, the changes would not cause noise sensitive areas to experience an increase in noise of 1.5 decibels or more, at or above 65 decibels which the Metroplex Study would consider a “significant noise impact.”

The FAA uses a standard of measurement for airports called the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL) which measures noise made over a 24 hour period but treats noise made from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. as 10 decibels louder than it really is.

Watkins said that the school will continue to monitor the proposals and that he’d be attending a public forum hosted by the FAA in Liberty Station on Tuesday.


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Jonathan Soch

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