By Carlotta Mohamed
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng’s (D-Flushing) measures in the FAA Reauthorization Act were recently signed into law by President Trump, including provisions that seek to alleviate airplane noise over Queens and other communities across the country.
The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 302) reauthorizes funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and related revenue through Sept. 30, 2023. The president signed the bill into law Oct. 5.
The bill includes Meng’s provision that sets a deadline for the FAA to develop new methods of measuring aircraft noise.
“Residents of Queens continue to do battle against the deafening airplane noise that has plagued our borough for way too long,” said Meng. “I have worked on numerous initiatives to combat this problem and many of the provisions in the FAA Reauthorization Act will help us make major progress in this fight. The people of Queens deserve relief.”
In March, Meng and members of the Quiet Skies Caucus passed legislation into law that requires 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.
Meng’s measure requires 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, and will help develop approaches to alleviate it,” said Meng.
The FAA bill also contains provisions mandating a 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 of noise exposure maps to determine eligibility for noise mitigation funding, and reviews of phasing out older aircrafts with loud engines.
Additionally, Meng secured other provisions, including requiring the FAA to update its cybersecurity policies to protect aircraft electronic systems from cyber attacks, a Collegiate Training Initiative Program that prepares students for careers involving unmanned aircraft systems, and the creation of an advisory board to expand scholarship opportunities and enhance aviation training, mentorship, education, and outreach programs to women.
Meng has also requested the Government Accountability Office 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 best training practices that would be crafted in response to the GAO report with air carriers.
U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Little Neck), co-chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, said with the multiple provisions included in the FAA Reauthorization Act, they’re taking another step closer to mitigating aircraft noise and improving quality of life for those affected.
“I’m proud of the work the caucus is doing to increase awareness of this issue and demonstrate to all Members of Congress that the concerns of our constituents are significant and demand action,” said Suozzi.
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha