The National Capital Region Transporation Planning Board voted yesterday to "strongly urge" more restrictive noise controls and fewer flights than the Federal Aviation Administration currently is proposing for Washington National Airport.
The board, made up of politicians and transportation planners from area governments, took the action one week before the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) holds hearings on its complex proposal for Natimal.
The FAA is proposing an absolute curiew on noisy airplanes between 10:30 p.m. and 7 a.m. at National as well as the continuation of a 40-flight-per-hour limit on commercial jetliners there. In addition, the FAA is proposing that larger but quieter two and three-engine jumbo jets, such as the Airbus Industrie A-300, the McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 and the Lackheed L-1011, be permitted to land at National.
The proposal also would forbid airlines from scheduling flights in or out of National after 9:30 p.m. and before 7 a.m. In other words, a flight scheduled to land at 9:30 p.m. would have a one hour grace period, but no more.
One major flaw in the proposal,according to FAA's critics, is that it, too, will regulate compliance if the arr-is on record as stating that the FAA lines violate the curfew.
The Transportation Planning Board and its parent body, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) have been on record for more than two years favoring the admission of jumbo jets to National only if they are in exchange for a reduction in total flights by the airlines.
The board resolution adopted yesterday suggests that each jumbo flight permitted replace two flights by other types of jets and that National be limited to 16 million passengers annually.
The FAA had proposed that National be limited to 13 million passengers innually. The present passenger load is about 13.5 million.
Future aviation growth under the board plan would be accommodated by the other FAA-owned local airport, Dulles International, or by Baltimore-Washington International, which is in the midst of a major reconstruction and marketing program.
The full COG board also discussed the National airport problem yesterday but declined to adopt a formal resolution until its June meeting because it wanted to use language stronger them the phrase "strongly urges."
Prince George's County Councilman Francis B. Francois suggested that a proposal to else National Airport might be the better way to go. "Our concern is that we have tried to take a reasonable posture with the FAA," Francois explained later. "That isn't working. Perhaps what we need to do is take an unreasonable approach."
Francois said that the FAA's environmental impact statement, which backs up the proposal, is "biased to support their case. It's not objective."
The same complaint has been raised by a number of citizens groups, [WORD ILLEGIBLE] "Virginians for Dulles." That organization originally forced the issue by suing the FAA to produce an environmental impact statement.
The Maryland Department of Transportation also is quietly lobbying on Capitol Hill and at the Council of governments for less growth at National than the FAA envisions. That organization owns Baltimore-Washington International and would like to have some of the Washington traffic land there.
The FAA and the airlines have said that, if they must cut flights to introduce jumbos at National, they will out the flights to smaller, close-in cities, such as Richmond or Charleston, w. Va. Service to Chicago, New York and Atlanta would not be reduced, they have said.
All these parties will be heard at the hearings scheduled for Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at bothe Twin Bridges Marriott Hotel in Arlington and at the Dulles Marriott Hotel at Dulles International.
On Thursday May 24 at 7:30 p.m. the hearings will be at the FAA Auditorium. 300 Independence Avenue SW, and at Einstein Senior High School, 11135 Newport Mills Road, Kensington.