Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2015by Representative Anna G. Eshoo
Posted on 2015-09-28
ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, with passage of H.R. 3614 today, the House
will ``kick the can down the road'' on a long-term FAA reauthorization
for another six months. I certainly recognize the dire need to keep our
airports and air travel system functioning in the face of an expiration
of the FAA's authorization in less than 72 hours. However, I'm very
disappointed that this bill does not contain any changes to current
policy regarding aircraft noise impacts on communities surrounding
Over the last several months, constituents throughout my Congressional District have experienced an alarming increase in aircraft noise due to the implementation of new flight paths under the FAA's Next Gen program. The new flight paths have caused certain communities to be hit especially hard by airplane noise, and other rural communities that have never experienced it are now being bombarded by noise. Many of these communities received little or no advance notice or opportunity to comment on the flight path changes before they were implemented, and they were blindsided when the changes went into effect earlier this year.
In July, I joined the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus so that together we could make recommendations for the Transportation Committee to include in an FAA reauthorization bill. These recommendations include: ensuring that FAA completes a robust community engagement process before flight paths are changed; requiring the FAA to use a new method of measuring noise that captures the true levels of noise on the ground; removing the categorical exclusion from full environmental reviews for flight path changes; and mandating independent research on the health impacts of aviation noise. These important reforms would substantially improve the FAA's process of addressing and avoiding noise impacts.
Once again, I wish to express my disappointment that the bill before us today simply reauthorizes the FAA for another six months with none of these important changes included. As the debate over a long-term FAA reauthorization continues, I hope these recommendations will be carefully considered and ultimately included in the final legislation. The ability to get a good night's sleep for thousands of my constituents depends on it.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. LoBiondo) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 3614.
The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.