Meng Secures Provisions in FAA Reauthorization Act that Aim to Combat Airplane Noise
Oct 12, 2018
Bill signed into law by President; Congresswoman also secures measures that seek to improve aviation industry
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) secured several measures in the FAA Reauthorization Act that the President recently signed into law, including provisions that seek to mitigate airplane noise over Queens and other communities across the country.
The bill includes Meng’s provision that sets a deadline for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop new methods of measuring aircraft noise. In March, Meng and New York members of the Quiet Skies Caucus passed legislation into law that directs the FAA to continue evaluating alternative metrics to the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL) 65, the current national standard at which the agency determines acceptable levels of aircraft noise. Meng’s measure requires the FAA to complete this evaluation within one year. Looking at other methods of examining noise will provide more accurate readings of noise “annoyance” levels caused by airplanes, and will help develop approaches to alleviate it.
The FAA bill also contains provisions that Meng fought to include with members of the Quiet Skies Caucus. 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.
“Residents of Queens continue to do battle against the deafening airplane noise that has plagued our borough for way too long,” said Meng, a founding member and former Co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus. “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!”
“As Co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, I’m proud of the work the caucus is doing to increase awareness of this issue and demonstrate to all Members of Congress that the concerns of our constituents are significant and demand action,” said U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Queens/Long Island). “Today, with the multiple provisions included in the FAA Reauthorization Act, we are taking another step closer to mitigating aircraft noise and improving quality of life for those impacted.”
In addition to the noise pollution provisions, Meng secured a number of other items in the FAA bill. They include:
A provision requiring the FAA to update its cybersecurity policies in order to protect aircraft electronic systems from cyberattacks.
A provision establishing a Collegiate Training Initiative program that prepares students for careers involving unmanned aircraft systems. Under the Collegiate Training Initiative, the FAA partners with colleges across the country to offer degree programs in aviation and air traffic control.
A provision requiring the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to issue a report to Congress on each air carrier’s employee training policies regarding racial, ethnic, and religious nondiscrimination. The measure would also require the Secretary of Transportation to develop and share with air carriers best training practices that would be crafted in response to the GAO report.
A provision Meng cosponsored that encourages women and girls to enter the aviation industry. Under the measure, an advisory board would be created to expand scholarship opportunities and enhance aviation training, mentorship, education, and outreach programs to women.
The FAA Reauthorization Act reauthorizes funding for the FAA through 2023. The President signed the bill late last week.