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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

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Norton, Quiet Skies Caucus Push for Action on Airplane Noise in FY’18 Spending Bill

Apr 6, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Quiet Skies Caucus, led by co-chairs Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-NY) and vice chairs Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-MA), wrote to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development requesting they include in the Subcommittee’s fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill two important provisions to help mitigate airplane noise.  The Caucus requested that the Subcommittee “provide funding for health studies on the impact of airplane and helicopter noise on communities and that you include report language directing the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct an expedited review of their noise standards.

The Quiet Skies Caucus is an organization in Congress dedicated to reducing the impact of aircraft noise in communities across the nation.  The letter was signed by the following Quiet Skies Caucus members: Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Karen Bass (D-CA), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Caucus Co-Founder Grace Meng (D-NY), Michael Capuano (D-NY), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Anna Eshoo (D-CA).

In their letter, the Members wrote, “Millions of Americans across the country must contend with acute levels of noise from passing aircraft on a daily basis.  This disrupts their homes and businesses, negatively impacting their health and their overall quality of life.  As the FAA updates flight procedures across the country, the number of impacted Americans only increases.  While we take our constituents concerns seriously, many of them feel the FAA dismisses those same concerns without due consideration….We strongly urge the Committee to recognize the impacts of airplane and helicopter noise.”

The full text of the letter can be found below.

The Honorable Mario Diaz-Balart
Chairman
House Appropriations Committee
Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development
2358-A Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable David Price
Ranking Member
House Appropriations Committee
Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Diaz-Balart and Ranking Member Price:

We write as members of the Quiet Skies Caucus, an organization in Congress dedicated to reducing the impact of aircraft noise on the communities we represent.  As you draft the fiscal year 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill, we ask that you provide funding for health studies on the impact of airplane and helicopter noise on communities and that you include report language directing the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct an expedited review of their noise standards.

Millions of Americans across the country must contend with acute levels of noise from passing aircraft on a daily basis.  This disrupts their homes and businesses, negatively impacting their health and their overall quality of life.  As the FAA updates flight procedures across the country, the number of impacted Americans only increases.  While we take our constituents concerns seriously, many of them feel the FAA dismisses those same concerns without due consideration.

With that in mind, we urge the Subcommittee to include funding for the FAA to enter into an agreement with an eligible institution of higher education to conduct a study of the health impacts of airplane flights on residents exposed to a range of noise and air pollution levels from such flights.  We also urge the Subcommittee to include the following report language:

“The Committee recognizes the severe impacts of airplane noise on communities across the United States and directs the FAA to evaluate alternative metrics to the current Day Night Level (DNL) 65 standard such as use of actual noise sampling and other methods to address community airplane noise concerns.  The Committee requests that the FAA not solely rely on modeling and simulation.”

We strongly urge the Committee to recognize the impacts of airplane and helicopter noise.  Thank you for your consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

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