Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza
“Deafening airplane noise that incessantly pollutes many neighborhoods in New York City is an unacceptable scourge that must be corrected,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
By Michael V. Cusenza
A provision in the newly enacted omnibus appropriations bill directs the Federal Aviation Administration to examine new methods of measuring aircraft noise in order to reduce the impact of excessive airplane noise over certain borough communities, the New York Quiet Skies Congressional Caucus announced on Monday.
The provision, according to U.S. Reps. Joe Crowley (D-Queens and Bronx), Hakeem Jeffries (D-Queens and Brooklyn), Grace Meng (D-Flushing), Tom Suozzi (Queens and L.I.), Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica), and Kathleen Rice (D-L.I.), directs the FAA to continue evaluating alternative metrics to the Day-Night Average Sound Level 65, the current national standard at which the agency determines acceptable levels of aircraft noise. Additionally, it calls for the FAA to evaluate other methods to address community airplane noise concerns, and encourages the agency to make these recommendations based on actual noise levels.
Presently, measuring the impact of noise relies heavily on modeling and simulations to determine “annoyance” levels of aircraft noise over communities, and rarely takes into account actual noise on the ground, the members noted.
“Deafening airplane noise that incessantly pollutes many neighborhoods in New York City is an unacceptable scourge that must be corrected,” said Jeffries, whose 8th District includes the aircraft noise-weary neighborhood of Howard Beach. “We have committed ourselves to taking up that fight. The FAA must find an effective solution to this problem. This appears to be a step in the right direction.”
In 2016, Meng introduced the Quiet Communities Act in the House in an effort to restore the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s control over airplane noise matters. The proposed legislation would also reestablish a dedicated Office of Noise Abatement and Control in the EPA, and require it to carry out a study on airport noise, examining FAA noise-measurement methodologies, the threshold of noise at which health impacts are felt, and the effectiveness of noise-mitigation measures at airports.