The first phase of a plan to use technological advances in navigation to improve air traffic over Southern California will begin in November, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday.
The Southern California Metroplex project will upgrade decades-old air traffic procedures in ways the FAA contends will reduce skyway congestion, carbon emissions and, in some cases, noise.
Some residents could experience slight noise decreases, some will see no changes, and some will experience small noise increases, according to the FAA.
The agency said it will take about five months to phase in use of satellite-based departure, arrivals and approach procedures in the metroplex region, which covers about 10,000 square miles of airspace and includes 21 airports.
Satellite technology provides more automation and more predictable flight paths, thus helping to keep planes safely apart while lowering fuel use and possibly reducing delays, the FAA said.
The plan expands the number of entry and exit points into and out of the Southern California airspace, which the FAA says is “like creating more on- and off-ramps in the sky.”
The agency said that when the new procedures are implemented, some could notice aircraft where they did not previously fly, a result of some air route changes.
A key upgrade involves more precise descent procedures that guide aircraft to their destination airports.
Prior to making the decision to go forward with the project, the FAA conducted environmental reviews and held nearly 100 public meetings in the region.
— City News Service