Suozzi Secures Provisions in FAA Reauthorization
Congressman Tom Suozzi (D – Long Island, Queens) secured multiple provisions in the FAA Reauthorization Act, recently signed by the President. As Co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, the Congressman worked with his colleagues to include multiple provisions aimed at mitigating noise for residents of the North Shore and Long Island.
“The people of Long Island and Queens deserve to live in peace and quiet,” said Congressman Suozzi. “I’m proud to lead the work the caucus is doing to promote awareness and demonstrate to all Members of Congress that the concerns of our constituents are significant and demand action. Today, we are taking another step closer to mitigating aircraft noise and improving quality of life for those impacted by incessant aircraft noise.”
As the Co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, the Congressman helped ensure the Caucus’s priorities were included in the final legislation. The following provisions, directly benefiting the residents of Queens and Long Island, were included in the bill:
- FAA Evaluation of Alternative Metrics to FAA’s Current DNL Standard: Requires the FAA to reevaluate metrics for measuring the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL). The standard, 65 DNL, does not adequately measure the impact on residents.
- Study Regarding Day-Night Average Sound Levels: Requires the FAA to explore other ways to measure noise, including actual noise sampling.
- Mandatory Use of the New York North Shore Helicopter Route: Public comment and review will be required for the North Shore Helicopter Route, along with a Congressionally mandated altitude floor of 2,500 feet.
- Review of FAA’s Community Involvement Practices in NextGen Projects: Requires the FAA, within 6 months, to engage in a self-review of policies regarding community involvement impacted by NextGen planning.
- Complete Study of Aircraft Noise Exposure: Mandates a study by the FAA on the effects and impacts of aircraft noise exposure on local communities.
- Review of Potential Phase-out of Nosier Aircraft (Stage 3 Aircraft): Requires the FAA to study the feasibility of phasing out noisy Stage 3 aircraft.
- Study on Health and Economic Impacts of Overflight Noise: The study will examine the impacts of noise on individual’s health, as well as economic impact of living under flight paths, such as the impact on property values and commercial activity,
- New Regional Ombudsman to Handle Noise and Pollution Issues: The FAA will designate community ombudsmen to work with the community and local stakeholders to help facilitate communication and grievances between communities and officials.
- Requires Consideration of Dispersal Headings: Requires consideration for dispersal headings to address noise concerns when creating or amending flight procedures over noise sensitive areas
- Update Airport Exposure Maps: Requires airport operators to submit updated noise exposure maps when there is an expectation there in be a change in noise levels surrounding an airport.
The FAA reauthorization provisions build on the momentum of the Congressman’s recent announcement of an alternative route for North Shore helicopter traffic that will dramatically reduce flights by nearly 50%. Congressman Suozzi has spent his first term in office working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and local stakeholders, to address everything from air safety to noise abatement stemming from increased air traffic over his district.