Rockland lawmakers hope to ground FAA flight plan

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Rockland lawmakers are up in arms about a new proposed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan that could mean hundreds of more planes flying over the county.The new flight plan would bring 200 to 400 new planes over Rockland each day by 2011, which means a plane would fly over the county every three minutes. County Legislator Patrick Withers was the only Rockland lawmaker that attended a meeting in New Jersey about the plan. Other legislators say they were left in the dark about the important quality of life issue.Withers says the FAA is trying to alleviate delay on and around airport facilities. In doing so, air traffic will widen over Rockland and New Jersey communities rather than over waterways. He adds the plan will increase decimal noise 30-43 percent and planes will fly at a lower altitude. Withers says he is concerned about the environmental impact of the increased air traffic.

The FAA has been looking into four options and has until August to make its decision. Legislator Patrick Moroney says the county Legislature plans to pass a resolution Tuesday asking the federal government to intercede and demand a regional public hearing about the FAA flight plan proposal.

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