City Desk

National’s Planes Flying Over SE Neighborhoods

Over the weekend, the Post noted that residents of Bellevue and Congress Heights have had to deal with some pretty annoying noise issues this past year, thanks to new flight patterns:

The neighborhood isn’t under the normal flight path of landing jets—planes usually approach along the Potomac River—but that changed this spring.

National Airport began overnight milling, paving and other repair work on its main runway, rerouting air traffic to a secondary landing strip, which points directly toward the neighborhoods of Bellevue in Southwest and Congress Heights in Southeast. While the main runway is used during the day, it is closed at night, and air traffic redirects to the secondary runway.

Residents said the worst part is that the work occurs each night, including weekends, between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., depending on the weather.

The planes fly low enough that houses vibrate and people are shaken awake

The work is expected to wrap up in April. Still, it's strange that the residents living under the new flight path apparently weren't notified. The press releases and the page on WMATA's website should probably have been supplemented with a direct mailer of some sort—it may have mitigated some of the frustration these folks feel.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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