A plane takes off from Reagan National Airport on Sept. 1, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Regarding the March 9 news article “FAA botched $36 billion effort to modernize air traffic system, report says”:

While the Federal Aviation Administration may have denounced the House Appropriations Committee-­ordered audit of its NextGen program, it is time that Congress denounced NextGen. It’s a failed program with bad design. The airlines don’t like it, and it isn’t saving them money. More important, NextGen is torturing hundreds of thousands of taxpaying citizens all over the country with noise pollution never heard before. The concentrated flight paths over heavily populated areas at low altitudes are causing health problems and lowering property values.

In our area, Georgetown University has sued the FAA, and a lawsuit from Maryland is imminent. Efforts across the country to negotiate fixes with the FAA have been futile. After a year of meetings between the DC Metroplex BWI Community Roundtable and FAA reps, the FAA has offered merely insignificant “notional” tweaks to flight paths, without addressing altitudes and dispersion. Last month, the FAA suddenly required that the roundtable submit Freedom of Information Act requests, to be vetted by the FAA’s legal team, for any information about redesign of our airspace.

Someone needs to remind FAA officials that they work for us taxpayers, not for NextGen contractors and not for the airlines. Congress should stop throwing our good money after bad.  

Barbara Deckert, Elkridge