By Ava-joye Burnett


ANNE ARUNDEL CO., Md. (WJZ) —Thousands of people around BWI are experiencing the noise of planes flying over their homes every day.

Now they are demanding that the airport stop all plans to expand, after two years of a contentious battle about air traffic into BWI. These residents have some powerful supporters, including Gov. Larry Hogan and the Attorney General.

Now they want BWI to make some changes, but that may be next to impossible.

“That’s what we do. We all stop and go, and wait for the plane to go past,” said Linda Curry, with the BWI Roundtable.

After the FAA implemented the NextGen Program in 2015 to streamline planes into one flight path, the downside has been instead of being scattered, aircrafts are now flying over the same neighborhoods.

A citizen’s group has pleaded with the FAA to reverse the plans, and when that didn’t work they demanded BWI stop a proposed $60 million expansion.

“We were concerned that they haven’t fixed the problem and the noise issue and what it’s doing to the people in this county, in this community, but they plan to expand and make it worse,” Curry said.

People in the region said they understand why BWI would want to expand, especially to accommodate Southwest, which has its second largest hub here.

“People complain about the noise when planes go over their house, but they don’t complain when they have a short drive to the airport,” said John Rice from Baltimore County.

“It’s just all aimed at adding capacity so that our airlines can grow and offer more service to our public,” said Ricky Smith with Maryland Aviation Administration.

While the state supports an airport boom, which could be good for business, top officials are also torn because of the noise.

The governor supports residents who are complaining, and Attorney General Brian Frosh wants to force the FAA to reverse its flight paths.

Fed up Anne Arundel County residents have even enlisted the help of a software developer, who said 21,000 noise complaints were logged in just five weeks.

“If no one complains, you can rest assured nothing will change. If a lot of people complain a lot, if a lot of people do that, something has to change,” said Chris McCann, the app developer.

Residents are asking BWI to stop any expansion until this noise complaint case moves through the legal system. WJZ contacted BWI for a comment, twice, and has not heard a response at this time.

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Ava-joye Burnett

Comments (5)
  1. Barbara Deckert says:

    airnoise.io is the name of the Web-based software that has allowed citizens to file over 22,000 detailed, individual noise complaints, with a click of a button, in five weeks since launch in this area. It is available to everyone in the BWI area.

  2. John Oates says:

    EXCUSE ME, But BWI (Friendship International) Came First. You moved here and you knew the Airport is Here. Get Over It!!! You don’t mind when it is a Short Drive to the Airport do you???

    1. Barbara Deckert says:

      Try understanding the issue and thinking clearly. This problem started three years ago. Before the FAA forced NextGen on us, the airport did not have a noise problem. The location of the airport is not the problem. Narrow flightpaths for 20-25 miles out from the airport at low altitudes is the problem. That can be fixed with a return to dispersion and higher altitudes. When that problem is fixed, the airport will still be there.