Chairman Crowley Co-Sponsors Airplane Impacts Mitigation Act of 2017

Jan 27, 2017 Issues: In the Community
Chairman Crowley Co-Sponsors Airplane Impacts Mitigation Act of 2017

Crowley Joins Members of Quiet Skies Caucus in Reintroducing Legislation to Study Health Impacts of Airplane Noise on Communities 

(Queens, N.Y.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Chairman of the Democratic Caucus and a founding member of the Quiet Skies Caucus, announced that he is an original co-sponsor of the Airplane Impacts Mitigation (AIM) Act of 2017 (H.R. 598). Introduced by Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-Boston), and supported by members of the bipartisan Quiet Skies Caucus, the AIM Act will ensure a study is conducted on the health impacts of prolonged airplane noise on local communities and made available to inform the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in an effort to reduce noise pollution.

“It’s imperative that we examine the health impacts of airplane noise in order to adequately identify mitigation measures for the surrounding communities of our airports,” said Rep. Crowley. “For too long they’ve had to endure the deafening roar of airplanes flying by and we owe it to them to determine just how big a toll it’s taken on them. It’s not just a disruption of their quality of life, but it adds stress to their lives, affects their ability to sleep and hinders student learning. I’m proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing this legislation because the more we know about the problem, the better placed we’ll be to find solutions.”

Specifically, the AIM Act would require the FAA to enter into an agreement with a school of public health to conduct a study of the health impacts of aircraft pollution on affected residents, including asthma exacerbation, sleep disturbance, stress, and elevated blood pressure.

The study will focus on residents living partly or wholly within the land area underneath the flight paths most frequently used by aircraft flying, including during takeoff or landing, at an altitude lower than 10,000 feet. In addition, the study will consider only those health impacts that manifest during the physical implementation of the NextGen RNAV program, a GPS-based navigation system that guides hundreds of flights per day over a narrow flight path. While this system can increase efficiency, the communities beneath the flight paths can experience extended periods of exposure to noise and air pollution.

The AIM Act mandates that the study focus on residents in New York, as well as in Boston, Chicago, the Northern California Metroplex region, Phoenix, and up to three additional cities. 

A leader in the effort to curb aircraft noise pollution, Crowley is the author of The Silent Skies Act legislation that aims to improve the quality of life for communities heavily impacted by aircraft noise pollution. In addition to leading legislation, Crowley has worked extensively with community leaders, federal officials, and representatives from New York City and State to abate the congestion and noise that schools, businesses, and homes are subjected to because of their close proximity to LaGuardia Airport. Crowley has also been a longtime advocate of the Part-150 noise study for LaGuardia Airport‎, which is finally under way. 

In 2014, Crowley co-founded the Quiet Skies Caucus in Congress, which works to raise awareness on the issue of aircraft noise and find meaningful solutions to the problem. The caucus consists of members from across the country whose constituents are adversely affected by incidents of airplane and helicopter noise.

Congressman Crowley is the ten-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He serves as Chairman of the Democratic Caucus and is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives.