FAA to Host Burbank Forum on Satellite-Based Air Traffic Control Plan
June 30, 2015
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  • A sweeping plan by the FAA to streamline air traffic over Southern California will be discussed in Burbank Wednesday in the last of a series of public meetings.

    The Federal Aviation Administration is seeking public input for its so-called Southern California Metroplex project, a new state-of-the-art air traffic control system designed to precisely track aircraft while clearing congested corridors in some of the busiest skies in the nation.

    The air regulator is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment released this month. The Burbank public workshop runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 150 N. 3rd St.

    “What we’re proposing to do here in Southern California reflects what we are doing nationwide — improving safety and efficiency by replacing existing arrival and departure routes with routes that are based on cutting-edge satellite technology,” said Ian Gregor, an FAA spokesman in Los Angeles.

    “We know the public has a big interest in any changes we propose, and we want people to attend our workshops to learn about this project, ask questions and submit their comments.”

    More than 11,000 aircraft fly each day over Southern California, now tracked by aircraft controllers using radar technology dating back to the 1950s.

    The FAA aims to replace its ground-based, radar-based flight monitoring system with a more automated one based on global positioning satellites. The so-called NextGen system, proposed in 14 urban areas across the nation, would cost the U.S. government and airline industry $32 billion.

    The SoCal Metroplex project would employ the NextGen technology at 21 airports from San Diego to Santa Barbara, tracking 10,000 square miles of airspace.

    A satellite-based tracking system would allow controllers to create more precise flight paths, keep aircraft routes automatically separated and cut radio communications with pilots, according to the FAA.

    Planes would then be able to fly more direct routes while cutting down travel times, fuel and air pollution, while not increasing flight noise heard on the ground.


    The Federal Aviation Administration will hold a public workshop on its proposed Southern California Metroplex air traffic control system at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 1, 2015, at the Burbank Community Services Building, 150 N. 3rd St., Burbank.