WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (Both D-Md.) and many of their National Capital Region colleagues urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to alleviate flight path noise for their constituents. The members’ letter, sent to FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson, presses the FAA to consider new community recommendations to reduce flight noise as a result of the NextGen flight program. In addition to Cardin and Van Hollen, the letter was signed by Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (Both D-Va.), and Representatives John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Anthony Brown (D-Md.), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), David Trone (D-Md.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Donald Beyer (D-Va.) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).
Dear Administrator Dickson:
We are writing on behalf of our constituents who have been suffering from the adverse effects of the FAA’s NextGen program. While the program has made the airspace more efficient, the concentrated flight paths have created unbearable living conditions for those who live under the channelized air traffic resulting from implementation of NextGen. Despite the best efforts of the DCA Community Noise Working Group (CWG), unhealthy amounts of noise and air pollution continue to plague residents, and no relief is in sight.
We have been advised that the CWG recently endorsed a new recommendation to the FAA that would help to alleviate some of the burden of NextGen flight paths by introducing a moderate degree of noise mitigation. The recommendation has been vetted for safety and efficiency by both the Potomac TRACON Air Traffic Control Center and an independent airspace consultant hired by Montgomery and Arlington Counties. Most importantly, this recommendation was supported by all affected jurisdictions represented in the CWG, including Montgomery County, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and the District of Columbia. We hope that the proposed principles can also be applied to flight paths south of DCA over Alexandria and Prince George’s County.
We strongly urge the FAA to consider the enclosed recommendation and provide a written report with your findings, including an estimated timeline for implementation.