CHARLOTTE – Federal aviation officials have allowed Charlotte Douglas International Airport to resume daytime takeoffs and landings on its lone diagonal runway in a move that could mean fewer low-flying jets – and a bit of peace and quiet – over the Lake Norman area.
The Federal Aviation Administration had ordered the change last summer because of concerns about the safety of crossing flight paths, especially on runways like Charlotte’s diagonal runway 23. Without the runway, the airport has been forced to shift all daytime flights to its three parallel runways, reducing capacity slightly.
The change in flight patterns had sent more planes over the Lake Norman area, prompting complaints from residents from Mooresville to Cornelius to Charlotte.
This week, federal officials said the runway is now open again, shifting some traffic away from the area.
U.S. Robert Pittenger (R-Charlotte) applauded the news in a statement Wednesday.
“With the runway reopened, more airplanes are able to land following a flight path along I-85 instead of flying over otherwise quiet neighborhoods,” Pittenger said.
Pittenger said he had “repeatedly contacted” the FAA asking officials to reconsider the decision to limit the runway’s use.
“The FAA was rightly focused on safety, but after further review, was able to develop a new system that protects air travelers while minimizing the noise disruption for homeowners,” he said Wednesday.
Sept. 27, 2013, “Think you’re hearing more jets overhead? You’re right”
Aug. 25, 2013, WFAE-FM, “CLT Runway Changes Prompt Noise Complaints, Higher Costs.”