Meng Secures Provisions in FAA Reauthorization Act that Seek to Combat Airplane Noise
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) announced this afternoon that the FAA Reauthorization Act passed by the House today includes several provisions she authored, including measures aimed at reducing excessive airplane noise over Queens and other impacted communities.
Meng’s provisions include the phase II authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise Program (CLEEN 2), an initiative to develop technologies that reduce aircraft noise. Under the program, the FAA, in partnership with private industry, will work to create new aircraft and engine technologies that are quieter, and produce less noise. The program also seeks to develop alternative jet fuels to reduce fuel emissions and improve fuel efficiency. The goal is to have these improved technologies introduced to commercial aircrafts by 2026. The FAA will invest $100 million in phase II of the program and this funding will be matched at least dollar-for-dollar by industry partners that include Boeing, Delta TechOps, GE, Honeywell Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce, and other companies.
The FAA bill also includes a provision that sets a deadline for the FAA to develop new methods of measuring aircraft noise. Last month, 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. The measure passed today would require 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.
Meng also authored a measure in the legislation that would require the FAA to set a five year strategy on ways to research and mitigate aircraft noise.
“The constant barrage of airplane noise over Queens continues to take a toll on residents of the borough and negatively impact the quality of life of my constituents,” said Meng. “Last month’s enactment of our noise metric provision marked important progress in our fight to combat excessive airplane noise, and these three measures would go a long way in helping those efforts as well. I look forward to the FAA Reauthorization Act now moving through the Senate.”
The FAA Reauthorization Act also includes provisions that 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.
In addition to the anti-noise provisions, Meng secured passage of several other items in the FAA bill. They include:
- A provision that would require major airports to provide designated areas for pets to relieve themselves before they and their owners board a flight.
- A provision that would require 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.
The FAA Reauthorization Act passed by a vote of 393-13. The bill reauthorizes funding for the FAA through 2023.