Franklin Countys First News

Maine delegation requests FAA hearing on Condor flights

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Representatives Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration  on Tuesday, urging the agency to hold a hearing in Maine regarding the Massachusetts Air National Guard's proposal to expand and lower the flight level for Condor 1 and Condor 2 flight training areas.


An F15 takes off.

“We strongly urge the FAA to hold a public hearing in Maine as part of its review of the proposal to lower Condor flight levels over western Maine,” said Snowe, Collins, Michaud, and Pingree in a joint statement. “Holding a hearing in Maine would help ensure that local residents and other stakeholders have the opportunity to voice their concerns directly to aviation officials.”

The delegation has been working together in response to constituents in western Maine who have expressed concerns about the potential impact the proposed flight level changes could have on the region.

Currently, in Condor 1 and Condor 2, Air National Guard pilots must stay above 7,000 feet throughout the military operation areas, unless they're training in military training routes, or MTRs. The ANG wants to lower the minimum altitude to 500 feet above ground throughout most of its training operation areas.

"Many constituents in western Maine continue to be concerned about the potential impact these flight level changes would have on the environment, the economy, and the quality of life in western Maine. We believe the FAA should hear these concerns firsthand to determine whether or not to approve the airspace change," the delegation's letter stated.

Last month, the Maine House and Senate overwhelmingly passed a resolution petitioning Maine's Congressional Delegation to oppose proposed modifications to the military operation area that encompasses Franklin County and much of western Maine.

The resolution was presented by Rep. Tom Saviello (R - Wilton) and was cosponsored by Sen. Walter Gooley (R- Farmington), Rep. Paul Gilbert (D - Jay), Rep. Lance Harvell (R - Farmington), Rep. Jarrod Crockett (D - Bethel), Rep. Matthew Peterson (D - Rumford) and Rep. Wayne Mitchell, representing the Penobscot Nation.

The resolution asked the Maine Congressional Delegation to request the FAA a delay any decision on a proposal by the Air National Guard to modify Condor 1 and Condor 2, military operation areas that have encompassed most of Franklin County for 30 years.

The Maine delegation's request went one step further by requesting the FAA hold a public hearing in Maine before making a decision.

Saviello said today he appreciates the delegation's response. He had taken issue with the Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Air National Guard on the proposed modification which he termed "incomplete at best."

"I thank the delegation for their continued support and listening to our concerns about the process. I hope FAA will responded favorably," Saviello said of the delegation's public hearing request of the FAA.


The map shows the proposed training flight area which, if the FAA approves, would lower the training runs to as low as 500 feet above the ground throughout the area outlined in red.

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5 Responses »

  1. Important facts regarding the MA ANG "EIS" that must be considered include:
    1.) There are significant errors, omissions and deceptive statements that make it impossible to evaluate.
    2.) The EIS doesn't mention that our air space will be used by aircraft from other groups and other nations.
    3.) It doesn't mention planned new aircraft such as the F-35 that is twice as loud as the F-16.
    4.) Despite promises since 2007, MA ANG have repeatedly failed to provide clarifications and info requested by Maine citizens, our Senators and our Governor.

    All of the above demonstrates completely unsatisfactory conduct and disregard for the people of Maine. Maine is fully justified in rejecting the proposal by MA Air National Guard until all procedures and requirements are satisfied. The FAA is the governing authority in this and all related issues and is required to ensure that all requirements are met. The people of Maine owe it to themselves and to their future to demand due process so that they can properly conduct their responsibilities as fully informed citizens.

  2. Why should the public even be forced to protect itself from this. Practice where there are no people or not at all. We all know they'll get what they want because the money is behind them. It's just not nessesary and damn inconcederate.

  3. Important facts regarding the MA ANG "EIS" that must be considered include:
    1.) There are significant errors, omissions and deceptive statements that make it impossible to evaluate.
    2.) The EIS doesn't mention that our air space will be used by aircraft from other groups and other nations.
    3.) It doesn't mention planned new aircraft such as the F-35 that is twice as loud as the F-16.
    4.) Despite promises since 2007, MA ANG have repeatedly failed to provide clarifications and info requested by Maine citizens, our Senators and our Governor.

    All of the above demonstrates completely unsatisfactory conduct and disregard for the people of Maine. Maine is fully justified in rejecting the proposal by MA Air National Guard until all procedures and requirements are satisfied. The FAA is the governing authority in this and all related issues and is required to ensure that all requirements are met. The people of Maine owe it to themselves and to their future to demand due process so that they can properly conduct their responsibilities as fully informed citizens.

  4. Please read my web page and the fight we have had with the Military who have clearly overstepped their bounds and been stealing properties using eminent domain. We do believe that the FAA rules once the Military Planes are off the ground.

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