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FAA to implement new flight paths for Las Vegas in November

July 17, 2020 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it plans to implement new flight paths for air traffic over Las Vegas starting in November as part of a sweeping revamp of of flight systems for some metro areas across the country.

The way to proceed with implementation of the new system in southern Nevada was cleared by the agency’s finding that it found no significant impact from the Metroplex project, the FAA said in a statement.

Current flight routes are safe. But the new takeoff and landing paths for McCarran International, North Las Vegas and Henderson Executive airports are expected to be more efficient while reducing airline fuel costs and pollution and improving communication between pilots and air traffic controllers, the FAA said.

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The new system will use “cutting-edge satellite navigation” with flight paths that will be more direct, automatically separated from each other and have efficient climb and descent profiles, the FAA said.

McCarran, located adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip, is among the busiest airports in the U.S. based on the number of arriving and departing passengers served.

The Las Vegas Metroplex project is part of the FAA’s sweeping Next Generation Air Transportation System known as NextGen.

The FAA said it conducted 11 public workshops and held four public comment periods before deciding that the Las Vegas project wouldn’t have a significant environmental impact. The finding meant that it wasn’t necessary to conduct an environmental impact statement, the FAA said.

The FAA started in 2014 to revise flight paths and procedures around the country under its NextGen program.

Changes to flight paths have drawn criticism and noise complaints in some cities, including Phoenix, where residents of historic neighborhoods won a court fight and the FAA responded with changes to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport departure routes.

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