Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced a procedural win in one of the county’s two ongoing cases against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. The cases stem from FAA changes to flight patterns for the NextGen flight control system at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, which the county claims were made without proper notice or environmental consideration, that have caused noise pollution in some neighborhoods.

The win came in the Midfield Cargo Improvements case, as the court granted Howard County’s Motion to Allow Extra-Record Evidence. The FAA and the state of Maryland opposed the motion, but the court decided evidence should be presented to help determine whether the FAA unlawfully ignored the facts.

“[The] legal victory will help our case as we fight for all our residents who have suffered from unacceptable aircraft noise over their homes,” said Ball. “In response to consistent feedback that the situation was insufferable, we filed multiple legal petitions against the Federal Aviation Administration to help alleviate the noise issues. Now, the evidence will be heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, with the goal of ending this issue once and for all.”

In the NextGen flight procedures case, briefing was completed on July 30 and a decision from the Court or date for oral argument is forthcoming. Briefing in the case will be complete on Nov. 13.