WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA) and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), co-chairs of the Quiet Skies Caucus, announced that the Caucus met this week with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Stephen Dickson to discuss FAA and Caucus priorities. The Caucus Co-Chairs and Vice-Chairs Congressman Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY) and Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) invited Administrator Dickson to address the Caucus. During the hour-long discussion, the Caucus emphasized four priorities: dispersing flight patterns to alleviate airplane noise levels, completing and releasing studies on the impacts of airplane noise on residents, creating an accessible central repository of resident complaints, and conducting increased community outreach.
“Despite my extreme displeasure with the FAA’s complete lack of involvement and concern over how airplane noise impacts communities, I do appreciate Administrator Dickson’s willingness to speak with us in depth about this ongoing issue,” said Rep. Lynch. “As the new Administrator, I can appreciate he may not have been fully aware of the gravity of the situation, but I do believe he now understands our concerns and the urgency of the matter. I look forward to next steps in this process in hopes we will begin a new working relationship with the FAA to ensure they properly address the debilitating airplane noise that so many communities have had to endure with NexGen-RNAV in recent years.”
“I appreciate our meeting with Administrator Dickson to discuss many of our priorities,” said Rep. Norton. “Recognizing that he has only recently been confirmed, we wanted the administration to know that we are concerned that the FAA has not fully engaged with our communities on addressing noise pollution. Despite the fact that the Government Accountability Office has already agreed to study noise pollution by helicopters in the National Capital Region, we must make sure that FAA stays responsive and collaborates with the Caucus on matters that impact our constituents.”
“I am very frustrated with the FAA,” said Rep. Souzzi. “It is a failed bureaucracy that is unresponsive to the needs of my constituents. I would like to thank Administrator Dickson for meeting with my colleagues and me. Now that there is a permanent Administrator at the helm, the FAA must advance concrete actions that will address and mitigate the aircraft noise that has been impacting our communities for so long.”
“The FAA’s failure to address the concerns of the community around O’Hare and other communities like it has been completely unacceptable,” said Rep. Quigley. “From the astonishing delay in producing their report on the impact of jet noise on communities to the lack of explanations provided to me and other Members of Congress, the FAA’s handling of this issue has been appalling. I sincerely hope that the new FAA Administrator takes this issue more seriously and does a much better job than his predecessors in addressing these concerns.”
Members were given the opportunity to ask Administrator Dickson questions about aircraft noise concerns in their districts and Administrator Dickson promised more collaboration between the FAA and the Quiet Skies Caucus to address the issues raised.