WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman John Sarbanes (all D-Md.) Tuesday announced $4,000,000 in federal funding to support noise mitigation efforts for residents living near the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. This funding will support the installation of noise mitigation measures for over 220 residences in Glen Burnie.
Following the transition to NextGen flight paths, the lawmakers have worked with local Maryland communities, facilitating meetings and discussions between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local residents to bring relief to those affected by aviation noise and changes in flight paths. Some of the noise-related measures the lawmakers have fought for and secured include directing the FAA Administrator to conduct a review on the effects of aircraft noise exposure on local communities and to review FAA’s community involvement in areas impacted by NextGen, including how they will engage airports and communities in future projects and lessons learned from NextGen implementation.
“This federal grant provides important support for noise mitigation measures for homes impacted by changing flight patterns at BWI Marshall. Team Maryland will continue to work with local communities, airports and the FAA to find solutions that address noise concerns and accommodate safe aviation,” said Senator Cardin. “We have also recently reintroduced legislation that will direct NASA to accelerate its critical research and development work to bring about a new generation of aircraft that, through their design and technologies, will emit substantially lower levels of both noise and greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Since the implementation of NextGen flight paths, airplane noise has disrupted the lives of many in our communities. That’s why I’ve worked to push the FAA to dedicate more resources to address noise concerns and mitigate the harmful effects it has on our neighborhoods. This funding is a small step forward in that effort, but there are still countless more waiting for relief,” said Senator Van Hollen. “I will continue the fight on this front alongside our communities.”
“My colleagues and I have been raising this issue with the FAA on behalf of our constituents for years. Today’s announcement will help mitigate noise issues for individuals and families who have been affected by these disruptive changes in flight paths,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “We will continue working to deliver the resources needed to fund noise mitigation and fully address the community’s concerns.”
In 2015, the FAA implemented its Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) to modernize how it manages U.S. airspace. As a result of this shift, new approach and departure paths have concentrated flights over neighborhoods not previously impacted. In response, the lawmakers have repeatedly worked alongside community members to push the FAA to improve noise mitigation efforts.
Recent measures that the lawmakers worked to secure in Congress direct the FAA to ensure that AIP funds are made available to reduce the impact of noise on local communities, including $8 million to support regular engagement with communities affected by aviation noise, $37.732 million over FY21 for research on reducing aviation emissions and noise, $2 million to study the impact of aviation noise by the aviation sustainability center, and $37.5 million for the Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise [CLEEN] program in order to accelerate the development of aircraft and engine technologies.
These funds are administered through the Department of Transportation’s FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP), which funds various types of airport infrastructure projects across the country, including repairs and upgrades to runways, taxiways, airport signage, lighting and markings – all while creating thousands of good-paying, local jobs. The members have consistently fought to provide funds for airports and terminal operators, including by securing an additional $20 billion to address the financial impacts of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.