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U.S.

Department
of Transportation
Federal Aviation
Administration

MAY 1 2 2(117

Mr. Lance Brasher


Chairman
DC Metroplex BWI Community Roundtable
Maryland Department of Transportation Aviation Administration
991 Corporate Boulevard
Linthicum, MD 21090

Dear Mr. Brasher:

We appreciate the efforts of the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) and community
volunteers such as you in engaging with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to address
community concerns. Based on our experience in other areas, a community noise roundtable
puts the local airport, community, and airline industry representatives in the same room at the
same time, identifying and discussing issues of concern and possible solutions. This is especially
important in complex, busy airspace like that around a growing airport such as the
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). After suggesting MAA
form a roundtable in several conversations over past months, we are pleased to see MAA has
formed such an important group, which can help the FAA understand the best ways to address
concerns while still maintaining the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System
(NAS). Moving forward, it is very important for industry to be actively engaged in the
discussions.

Our Metroplex projects, such as DC Metroplex, are designed to use more precise and predictable
satellite navigation technology in air traffic operations. The FAA has a Congressional mandate
to implement this technology at the United States 30 busiest airports, which includes BWI.
Satellite navigation technology is especially important at BWI because of its close proximity to
other busy airports and its location in the northeast corridor, a major air traffic region and some
of the busiest and most complex airspace in the world. The network of departure and arrival
procedures and overflights in this airspace is interdependent and altering just one procedure can
impact many others.

The FAA understands the DC Metroplex BWI Community Roundtable (Roundtable) voted
unanimously to revert back immediately to pre-Metroplex procedures at BWI at its first meeting
in April. As we have discussed, reverting back immediately to the old instrument flight
procedures and flight paths is not possible. The procedures designed and implemented as part of
the DC Metroplex were either new or amended procedures so the original procedures, flight
paths, and altitudes are no longer available for use in navigation charts, procedures inventory,
aircraft onboard flight computers or air traffic automation systems.

We are prepared to work with the Roundtable to amend or optimize the existing procedures or
perhaps even create new procedures where possible. We understand the importance that the
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Roundtable places on the recommendation to return to the flight paths and operational
characteristics that existed before Metroplex implementation. This will take a more detailed
discussion on the possible options and require the Roundtable to work more closely through
MAA with FAA to fully imderstand what is possible and feasible. The dialogue with the
Roundtable at the April meeting was very productive for the FAA as we all collectively try to
gain a better understanding of the characteristics of the airspace prior to Metroplex. Based on
that initial discussion, we will come back to the May 16 meeting with additional information
and, hopefully from additional discussion, work toward a clearer path forward.

We are committed to giving full consideration to Roundtable recommendations and keeping the
Roundtable updated but it will take time to make changes to existing procedures at BWI. The
DC Metroplex project started in 2011 and the BWI procedures were implemented in 2014-2015.
It took several years to design, develop, and implement the procedures in use today. While we
are giving the Roundtable recommendation work a high priority and we will work to make
changes as quickly as possible, we expect the process may take approximately 18 to 24 months
from development of a procedure to publication and its use. In the interim, we will work with
the Roimdtable to explore possible operational changes which could be done in a shorter period
of time. We look forward to continuing our work with the Roundtable to address the noise
concerns of communities around BWI.

If we can be of further assistance, please contact Kate Howard, Acting Assistant Administrator
for Government and Industry Affairs, at (202) 267-3277.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth L. Ray
Vice President, Mission Support Services
Air Traffic Organization