June 07, 2018

Van Hollen Secures Provisions on Community Concerns Aimed at NextGen Flight Path Noise Issues in Transportation Funding Bill

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen announced the inclusion of a provision in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill directing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to consider community concerns surrounding the development of flight paths. Senator Van Hollen has worked since 2015 to resolve the NextGen flight path noise issues at both Baltimore-Washington International and Ronald Reagan National Airports.
“The FAA owes it to our communities to do their due diligence when selecting flight paths,” said Senator Van Hollen. “This provision will help ensure that our communities’ needs are better addressed, and I’m pleased that this directs the FAA to give fair consideration to public concerns, improve development of flight procedures, and reduce noise through various techniques.”
The text of the legislation, written by Senator Van Hollen, reads, “The Committee appreciates additional measures the FAA is taking to enhance outreach to communities affected by new flightpaths; however the Committee believes the FAA should do more to be responsive to community concerns. The Committee directs the FAA to improve the development of flight procedures in ways that will give fair consideration to public comment and reduce noise through procedure modification and dispersion to reduce the impact on local communities. The FAA should utilize state-of-the-art technologies, metrics, and methodologies to measure actual noise at ground level experienced in communities affected by flight paths and not rely solely on computer modeling or other theoretical measures. The FAA should give high priority to evaluating where increased noise levels disrupts homes and businesses, and threatens public health, and should provide all necessary resources to regional offices to work with local communities to meet this objective.”

Senator Van Hollen also secured a provision directing the FAA to continue prioritizing research on the effects of aviation noise on both sleep and cardiovascular health.