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Photo via Wikimedia Commons/xlibber

A Queens lawmaker’s effort to limit aircraft noise over the borough is moving forward.

Congresswoman Grace Meng’s measure to authorize a Navy Jet Noise Reduction Program has passed the House. The program, an initiative within the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research, seeks to reduce engine noise of high-performance military air crafts.

Research and subsequent changes implemented to the military air crafts could then be applied to commercial jets, Meng said. Under the provision, the Secretary of the Navy is directed to share relevant noise reduction discoveries with the civilian aviation community.

This research could result in decreased noise over Queens, the congresswoman said.

“The Jet Noise Reduction Program has the potential to be a critical component in mitigating excessive aircraft noise over communities like Queens,” said Meng, who is a founding member of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus. “That is why it’s important for Congress to authorize this initiative and I’m pleased that the House has voted to do so.”

The measure was cosponsored by fellow New York Congress members Joe Crowley, Hakeem Jeffries, Kathleen Rice and Tom Suozzi, who said the measure is “an important first step in seeking a long-term solution to [noise pollution.]”

“Noise pollution has been a quality of life issue for the residents of Queens and Nassau Counties for way too long,” said Suozzi, who represents northeast Queens and Long Island. “As co-chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, I have made it a priority to ensure that excessive aircraft noise levels are reduced.”

With full Congressional support, Meng’s provision would be passed as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): the annual legislation that establishes the U.S. Department of Defense’s funding levels and policies. The bill would take effect on Oct. 1.

The provision follows news earlier this year that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was being being directed to take an updated look at the way it measures aircraft noise and its effects on surrounding communities, including Queens.

The agency will evaluate alternative metrics to the current method of studying the airplane noise via the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL), which Meng called “outdated” in a statement released in April.

Queens is home to LaGuardia and JFK International Airports, two of the busiest in the country. In 2015, the FAA began a multi-year effort to update scientific evidence on the relationship between aircraft noise exposure and its effects on communities surrounding airports.

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