Beach residents call for rerouting flight paths to reduce noise

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SAN DIEGO – Anyone living near the San Diego International Airport will tell you it’s loud, especially in nearby beach towns. 

Over the last few years, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s Quieter Homes Program has helped improve sound insulation for thousands of homes, and noise complaints are down over the last few years. But the noise issue is far from over.

Data shows there were nearly 6,000 noise complaints in January, mostly from Mission Beach residents and many also coming from Point Loma Heights.

Sjohnna Knack with the Airport Authority tells FOX 5 the FAA has chosen night departure flights to fly over the Mission Bay channel for decades, likely to affect the least amount of residents.

After several noise studies, the regional airport authority — essentially a facilitator between airlines and the FAA — proposed two new night routes during an Airport Noise Advisory Committee meeting to consider on Wednesday.

“You know, 25 different recommendations mostly made by community members to look at alternative flight paths have been looked at,” Knack said.

The first option would put all night airplanes on one specific route, reducing flights over Point Loma and La Jolla, but narrow all flights to one specific route over Mission Beach.

The second option is similar to current departure routes, but would vary by a few degrees. It essentially would reduce flights in both La Jolla and Point Loma, but would keep routes the same over Mission Beach.

Both options would run 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. and any plan to change routes would have to be submitted to the FAA for approval.

Mission Beach residents called in to the meeting to voice their opinions during public comment.

“I don’t think it’s fair that you are saving La Jolla for us that live here and I mean we’ve been going through this and going through this, so I am opposed to really any more flights and especially changing any flights that once again throw Mission Beach under the bus,” one person said.

The noise committee largely appeared dissatisfied with both proposals. No vote was taken. 

“We were looking to have some kind of relief in Mission Beach, we get 100% of the planes departing at night,” committee member Deborah Watkins said.

But the committee will hear more about the second option at a later date after more analysis is done.

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