Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, and U.S. Representatives Joe Crowley and Grace Meng today announced that following their push, key provisions to address excessive aircraft noise concerns were included in the recently passed FAA Reauthorization Bill. The legislation includes Gillibrand’s provision to require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to designate a regional ombudsmen in each FAA region to serve as a point of contact with the public, including community groups, to address noise, pollution, and safety issues. It also includes a provision pushed by Gillibrand and Representative Grace Meng to require the FAA to finalize its study of alternative metrics for measuring aircraft noise. In addition, the bill directs the FAA to conduct a study on health risks that noise and aircraft flights on residents exposed to a range of noise levels from such flights.
“Communities near airports throughout New York continue to suffer from excessive aircraft noise, but they do not have adequate opportunities to take their concerns to the FAA in a meaningful way. New Yorkers deserve to have their voices heard, and I’m pleased that the FAA Reauthorization Bill includes provisions I fought for to require the FAA to designate local ombudsmen that address residents’ concerns,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This bill also takes the necessary step to finish an ongoing study into alternative metrics for measuring noise, and goes further to authorize a new study that will help determine exactly what the noise pollution means for the health and wellbeing of residents living in noise-plagued areas. This legislation takes proactive steps to help alleviate community and health concerns and I am very pleased that it has been signed into law.”
“The New York Metro area has one of the largest and most complicated airspaces in the world, and communities have long expressed aviation noise concerns throughout the area. I am pleased that the FAA Reauthorization Bill includes a provision that will study the health risks associated with the wide range of noise levels that thousands of New Yorkers are adversely exposed to every day. I fought alongside Senator Gillibrand to secure regional ombudsmen to serve as a public liaison for issues about aircraft noise questions and concerns,” said Senator Schumer. ”The bill also includes a study of alternative metrics for measuring aircraft noise; important studies like this one will help collect the best data and assess impacts of noise pollution based on the best information. This bill is a step in the right direction and I will continue to fight for New York communities affected by noise pollution.”
“I am pleased to have secured provisions in the FAA Reauthorization Act that seek to mitigate airplane noise over Queens and other impacted communities in our region, in particular, my measure that sets a one-year deadline for the FAA to complete its study of alternative metrics for measuring aircraft noise,” said Congresswoman Meng, a founding member and former Co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus. “The FAA bill also contains provisions that I fought to include with my colleagues. These provisions mandate a robust community engagement process for new or adjusted flight paths and procedures, a study on the health impacts of flight noise in New York and other parts of the country, an update to noise exposure maps to determine eligibility for noise mitigation funding, and reviews of phasing out older aircrafts with loud engines. The residents of Queens continue to do battle against the deafening airplane noise that has plagued our borough for way too long. I have worked on numerous initiatives to combat this problem and many of the provisions in the FAA Reauthorization Act will help us make major progress in this fight. The people of Queens deserve relief!”
“I’ve always said our airports will never be perfect neighbors, but we can work to make them better ones,” said House Democratic Chairman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx). “The FAA Reauthorization Bill is a crucial step in working to understand the health impacts of excessive airplane noise, and ensure New Yorkers’ concerns are heard and addressed. I applaud my colleagues in the New York congressional delegation for working to address this issue and protecting our communities.”
The FAA Reauthorization Bill was signed into law last Friday. Gillibrand and Schumer fought to include critical provisions that will help address the concerns and noise-plagued New York communities. Gillibrand’s provision will require the FAA to designate regional ombudsmen in each FAA region. The ombudsmen will serve as a point of contact with community groups to address noise, pollution, and safety concerns. In addition, the legislation requires the FAA to finalize a study into alternatives to the current 65 Day-Night Sound Level (DNL) metric for measuring the impact aircraft noise to people on the ground. Furthermore, the bill will require the FAA to work with an institution of higher education in order to conduct a study on health risks that noise and aircraft flights on residents exposed to a range of noise levels from the flights.