April 08, 2016

Senator Warren Introduces Legislation to Address Concerns About Flight Noise in Local Communities


Washington, DC - Today, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced the FAA Community Accountability Act to give local communities a voice in the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) decision-making process for flight paths. The bill was also filed as an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016, which is currently being debated on the Senate floor. Additionally, Senator Warren filed an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act requiring the Government Accountability Office (GAO), in consultation with state and local governments and local resident advisory committees, to conduct a study of the FAA's Next Generation Air Transportation System's impact on the human environment in densely populated areas.

"There has been a significant increase in airplane noise in communities near Logan Airport, and local residents deserve to have their concerns heard," said Warren.  "This bill will provide communities in Massachusetts and other affected states with a real voice in the FAA's decision-making process, and will require the FAA to reconsider flight routes that are exposing residents to unacceptable levels of noise. "

The FAA Community Accountability Act would establish new procedures requiring the FAA to reconsider existing flight routes that are exposing residents to unacceptably high levels of aircraft flight noise.  The bill is the Senate companion bill to H.R. 3965, the FAA Community Accountability Act introduced by Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), and cosponsored by Congressman Stephen F. Lynch, Congresswoman Katherine Clark, and Congressman Michael Capuano.

The legislation will advance a number of policies to improve and strengthen community involvement.  The bill would designate a Community Ombudsman to serve as an advocate for airport communities within the agency.  End the presumption that flight paths implemented through the NextGen program may not follow pre-existing routes, even when these paths better reflect land use around the airport, and lastly the bill would mandate that the FAA not bypass the environmental review process for new flight paths over the objections of local communities.