A Queens lawmaker is seeking relief for her constituents plagued by incessant airplane noise.
Congresswoman Grace Meng is calling on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to review how it handles aircraft noise as it implements the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).
In a letter to Comptroller General of the United States Gene Dodaro, Meng and 28 other Congress members called on the head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the impact of NextGen on Queens and other New York areas.
“The impact of airplane noise on my constituents is unacceptable and continues to impact their quality of life,” said Meng, a founding member and former co-chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus. “I’m pleased to be part of this letter calling on GAO to review how the FAA measures aircraft noise, how it evaluates and mitigates noise impacts and the extent to which the FAA has worked with and responded to communities impacted by airplane noise.”
In 2007, FAA introduced NextGen as the solution to modernize the nation’s air transportation system in order to increase safety, efficiency, capacity, predictability and resiliency in American aviation. Part of these efforts included the creation of new flight routes like LaGuardia Airport’s Tennis Climb route, which have resulted in increased aircraft noise.
“The reality is – for those in my district – the constant bombardment of noise is unbearable. That is why I believe it is necessary for GAO to study this issue and provide insight into how communities are affected by NextGen. I urge GAO to take up this study for the good of my constituents, and all those affected by airplane noise,” added Meng.
Congress members in other metropolitan areas in states like northern and southern California, Texas and Florida said they have heard similar constituent complaints surrounding new airplane routes. FAA refers to these areas as “metroplexes” or major metropolitan areas with complex air traffic patterns.