Air Force Academy Alters Flying Patterns

The Air Force Academy has begun altering takeoff routes in an effort to decrease air traffic over nearby densely populated neighborhoods, announced Air Force officials. The changes took place as a result of concerned residents who raised the issue during a town hall meeting late last year, states a June 2 release. “Aircraft taking off to the north now have more time to climb to a higher altitude before turning east, which allows our pilots to throttle back the engine and minimize the noise impacts on the surrounding community,” Capt. Richard Ricciardi, a USAFA spokesman told Air Force Magazine. “We’ve looked at as many options as we could look at and selected the best options to reduce impact to neighborhoods, while keeping the safety of our pilots, cadets, and you as our primary focus,” said Col. Joseph Rizzuto, commander of the 306th Flying Training Group. However, “I want to emphasize there will be still be aircraft flying over those neighborhoods,” he said. The Academy will also will reopen Bullseye Auxiliary Airfield, a nearby airstrip that closed last year due to budget cuts, to help mitigate noise pollution, states the release.