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Quiet Skies Caucus Secures Omnibus Provision

April 4, 2018
The Queens Gazette

Congress Member Grace Meng (D-Queens), Tom Suozzi (D-LI, Queens), Joe Crowley (D-Queens, Bronx), Greg Meeks (D-Queens), Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) and Kathleen Rice (D-LI), members of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus, announced on April 2 that they have secured a provision in the newly enacted omnibus appropriations bill which directs the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to examine new methods of measuring aircraft noise in order to reduce the impact of excessive airplane noise over their districts.

The provision 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. Additionally, the provision directs the FAA to evaluate other methods to address community airplane noise concerns, and encourages the FAA 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“The metric of 65 DNL has long been outdated and does not adequately measure the true impact of aircraft noise,” said Rep. Meng. “That is why it’s time to for the FAA reevaluate it. The blistering sounds of airplane noise in Queens continues to negatively impact the quality of life of borough residents, and looking at a more accurate measurement of noise effects would go a long way towards creating quieter skies over our communities. I look forward to seeing what other metrics the FAA proposes.”

“Queens and Long Island residents deserve to live in peace and quiet,” said Rep. Suozzi. “This provision will require the FAA to take important steps in addressing noise reduction so people are not bombarded at all hours of the day and night. As co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the FAA is doing its part to tackle this issue and make a concerted effort to reduce airplane and helicopter noise across the country.”

“I’m deeply concerned about the longterm impact noise pollution has on the health and well-being of my neighbors in Queens and the Bronx,” said Rep. Crowley, Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. “Our communities have been burdened with a barrage of noise from airplanes and helicopters because of our proximity to two major airports, and this provision will help us better understand and curb the impact of noise pollution. It is important that the FAA realize the serious effects that noise pollution has on our communities and take further steps to reduce these inconveniences.”

The omnibus appropriations bill was signed into law on March 23.