Public can learn about Metro area air traffic changes

The Detroit News

The Federal Aviation Administration is seeking public input on improvements in air traffic procedure in Detroit aimed at making the airspace more efficient and help reduce delays.

The FAA said it is attempting to modernize the National Airspace System through satellite-based navigation as part of the Next Generation Air Transportation System, also known as NextGen. The FAA expects NextGen to deliver $147.4 billion in benefits nationwide through 2030.

“You might think of this transition as similar to moving from paper maps to GPS when you drive your car,” the FAA said in announcing the public workshops.

The FAA said the airspace surrounding Cleveland and Detroit has air traffic procedures that haven’t changed for many years. The procedures are safe, it said, but “most are inefficient due to advances in technology.”

“This is one of the reasons why the airspace surrounding Cleveland Hopkins and Detroit Metro airports has been identified for Metroplex development,” the FAA said.

Not all communities will be affected by proposed changes. Some may “see and/or hear aircraft as a result of the proposed designs.”

“There may be communities that have less noise from these changes,” the FAA said.

A Draft Environmental Assessment for the Cleveland/Detroit Metroplex project is available for public comment for a period ending Dec. 11. View the Draft EA here. Electronic versions also are available at 68 libraries in the study area can be found here: A complete list of libraries with electronic copies is available online here, the FAA said.

Three workshops are scheduled in Metro Detroit for the public to learn more about the proposal, its environmental impact and leave written comments. The comment period ends December 11.

Metro Detroit workshops:

■ 5-8 p.m. Tuesday: Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, Hubbard Ballroom

15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn

■ 5-8 p. Wedneday: Dozier Recreation Complex, Meeting Lounge

2025 Middle Belt Road, Inkster

■ 5-8 p.m. Thursday: Sumpter Township Community Center, Gymnasium

23501 Sumpter Road, Belleville