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Portland Jetport To Pursue New Flight Pattern In Response To Noise Complaints

The Portland International Jetport will pursue a new flight path to help reduce noise from arriving planes.The airport's Noise Advisory Committee voted Wednesday night to pursue a plan put forth by Southwest Airlines that would shift their aircraft's approach pattern.  This means fewer planes fly directly over South Portland homes.

Airport Director Paul Bradbury says he expects other airlines to follow Southwest's lead. "So for our scheduled air carriers I believe this will be adopted, and is very easily adopted."

Several residents pressured the airport to change flight paths because of the noise - calling it a public health issue.

Bradbury says the new path isn't a "silver bullet" solution but should improve noise conditions. In order to accommodate for technical limitations of some aircraft, the approach will not be available during bad weather, he says, but, in that case, weather will likely mitigate the issue.

"If there's heavy rains on your roof it doesn't become as annoying when you have a plane over your house, or if there's, you know, higher winds, right?" Bradbury says.

The committee will now ask the Federal Aviation Administration to approve the plan.