Arlington Statement on FAA Decision

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Arlington Welcomes FAA Move on Proposed Northbound Departure Procedures Changes at Reagan National Airport


The Arlington County Board today welcomed the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to cancel changes it had proposed to the northbound departure procedures at Reagan National Airport (DCA).

The FAA issued a statement today saying it “has decided to discontinue its work on the departure procedure from Washington Reagan National Airport known as Lazir B and to cancel its implementation. The decision follows a review of public input, including comments gathered at community meetings, inquiries from political leaders and the public, and discussions in citizens’ advisory forums.  The FAA will continue to support the efforts of the DCA Community Noise Working Group.”

Arlington remains committed to working with all stakeholders to address the issue of aircraft noise, County Board Chair Jay Fisette said.

“There was a lot of concern in our community that the proposed changes not only did not address the underlying noise problem in the region resulting from the implementation of Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), but could actually increase overflights and noise impacts in Arlington,” Fisette said. “Many residents told us they opposed these changes, and many made their voices heard to the FAA during the public comment period. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the FAA, MWAA (Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority), our neighboring jurisdictions and others to more fully understand what is causing increased noise exposure and noise complaints in all of our communities, and to identify and analyze reasonable steps that can be taken to reduce and/or mitigate it. This is an important quality of life issue for residents of our region and we must all work together to address it.”


The FAA began the process of changing the northbound departure procedures in January 2015, in an effort to increase the distance between departing aircraft and the prohibited airspace known as P-56, and to mitigate noise issues on both sides of the Potomac River by maximizing flight time over the water. The Reagan National Community Noise Working Group endorsed the FAA moving forward on these changes on December 10, 2015. The FAA published the proposed changes, known as Lazir B, for public comment in September 2016, and conducted a series of community outreach sessions.

Learn more about Arlington’s involvement.