Some Things Do Not Change: Aviation Groups Object to Protecting Public Health Through Enforceable Noise Standards

Some things never change. The airport and airline groups lobbying Congress that a new, beautiful, noise-free future is “just around the corner” so there is no need for enforceable noise standards.
In 1972 during the Senate debate on the Noise Control Act, objections were raised to the Act that the “engine manufacturers are coming out with new, less noisy models” and soon aviation noise would be a distant memory. We just have to be patient and trust the engine manufacturers, the airlines and the FAA. It is now 2018 and we are still waiting for that noise-free future, and the aviation groups are still promising that it is just around corner.
Sen. John Tunney saw through that argument and pushed hard for the Noise Control Act. In the last debate before the passage of the Act he stated:
The key element in this proposal is protection of the public health and welfare. The key element is not, as some may believe, protection of commerce. The Federal Aviation Administration’s regulatory responsibility is retained in order to assure technological availability and protect safety. However the FAA, following the lead of EPA, will be required to promulgate regulations which shall assure protection of public health and welfare in airport environments even where it is not possible to achieve necessary noise reductions through the application of specific emission controls on engines and aircraft.
The FAA failed in its regulatory duty then, and Congress needs to remind the FAA of its duty and regulatory responsibility to assure protection of public health and welfare.
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