This week the Fourth Circuit of U.S. Court of Appeals dismissed Howard County’s Petition for Judicial Review of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) changing flight paths as part of its implementation of NextGen. The case stems from FAA changes to flight patterns at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), which the County claims were made without proper notice or environmental consideration, that have caused terrible noise pollution in some neighborhoods.

“We’re disappointed at the Court’s ruling and are carefully considering our options moving forward,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “We know this is a significant issue for our residents, and we’re not done fighting on behalf of them. In the meantime, we will continue engaging with the BWI Roundtable and encourage the FAA to implement proposed changes to flight paths. We’re also urging the State of Maryland to get back on track with the Noise Abatement Plan, which has been severely delayed. Our residents deserve progress, and we will continue to pursue all options to provide relief.


Scott E


  1. It’s so interesting to see this unfold. Back in 2019 I wrote the Howard Co. Delegation the following letter and didn’t get a response:
    “So the Howard County Council wants to pass resolution 19-2019 to institute civil action against BWI for ignoring “significant noise impacts on Howard County Citizens.”
    Let me remind the Council and the Howard County Delegation that in 2013 you had pass Maryland legislation that allowed Merriweather Post pavilion to broadcast sound levels that were dangerous to its citizens. We are talking about hearing loss levels of sound… Currently the 65db, 70db and 75db contours of sound around BWI are technically safe sound levels for the public. Yet the Merriweather Post sound levels passed by the Maryland legislature of 85 dBA are 800% higher in sound pressure levels than the highest actionable level at the airport…… So, on the one hand you want to prosecute the Federal Government in order to protect its citizens. On the other hand you pass laws on sound that are 8 times more damaging to people than BWI noise levels.”

    Of course – neither the county council or the howard county delegation addressed my letter to them. I offered to meet and to teach them about sound safety. But no response. I find this whole thing very disturbing on multiple levels. Again the tax payers are left to pay the bills for bad political decisions.

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