Forums provide input on efforts to modernize air space

Karen Bouffard
The Detroit News
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Details of a Federal Aviation Administration plan to modernize how airspace is managed over Detroit Metropolitan Airport were unveiled at a public workshop in Dearborn on Tuesday, the first of three this week to gather community input on the project.

The proposal, which also includes the airspace surrounding Cleveland Hopkins airport, is part of a nationwide plan to create a Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen, that relies on satellite-based navigation rather than radio towers.

Workshops also are slated for 5-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Dozier Recreation Complex, 2025 Middle Belt in Inkster; and 5-8 p.m. Thursday at the Suumpter Township Community Center, 23501 Sumpter Road in Belleville.

“We are not going to rely as much on ground-based navigation — radio signals, facilities, things that are World War II-era and later technologies,” said Christina Drouet, acting regional administrator for the FAA’s eight-state Great Lakes Region, said Tuesday.

“We’re moving to an air space that’s designed off of the Global Positioning Satellite system.”

Not all communities will be affected by proposed changes.

“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.Electronic versions also are available at 68 libraries in the study area.

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