BWI Airport launches a new tool to track flights, aircraft noise - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jul. 12, 2019 11:36 am

BWI Airport launches a new tool to track flights, aircraft noise

WebTrak arrives amid signs that the Federal Aviation Administration is reconsidering a proposal to change flight routes that are disruptive in the community surrounding the airport.
A screenshot of BWI’s WebTrak tool.

A screenshot of BWI's WebTrak tool.

(Courtesy image)

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is rolling out a new online tool that provides information to track flights and noise near the airport.

The system, called WebTrak, provides info about airline flights that are coming and going from BWI, as well as info on air traffic through the region. Data can be viewed within 30 minutes of data upload, and is kept in the system for 90 days, according to BWI.

It also relays noise measurement data from monitors that are installed in communities around the Anne Arundel County airport. Users can look into noise issues using a replay feature, and there’s also a tool to report noise complaints directly from WebTrak.

“This tool provides a complete picture for our neighbors,” BWI Executive Director Ricky Smith said in a statement. “The system enables the public to track airline flights, as well as to observe and report specific details about aircraft noise. WebTrak is an innovative technology that will ensure the public has easy access to this important data.”

The tool arrives on the same week the Federal Aviation Administration indicated it would reconsider a petition from Maryland to revise flight routes and procedures over BWI. Specifically, the state had asked to change low flight paths due to noise complaints. This has been an issue at airports around the country following the implementation of a new air traffic control system called NextGen, the Baltimore Sun reported.

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“Changes to flight paths at BWI were made without adequate notice and outreach to surrounding communities, and without sufficient environmental impact analysis,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a joint statement issued this week. “We are hopeful the FAA’s request to hold the case in abeyance and undertake a thorough review of facts will ultimately lead to changes in flight paths at BWI.”

For its part, WebTrak was unveiled at this week’s meeting of the DC Metroplex BWI Community Roundtable, which is working to evaluate and modify the air traffic procedures.

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