Letter to Joseph R. Biden, President of the United States - Van Hollen, Sarbanes, Brown, Raskin Urge President Biden to Consider Airplane Noise Reduction Efforts in Nomination of New FAA Administrator


Dear President Biden,

We write to respectfully request that, as you nominate the next Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), you select someone who understands the importance of reducing aviation noise as a key part of implementing FAA policies and procedures. As members representing the National Capital Region, our constituents are significantly harmed by aviation noise from some of the nation's busiest airports.

Aviation noise causes annoyance, stress, sleep disruption, and negatively affects the quality of life of constituents across the National Capital Region. Current federal law designates FAA as having almost all authority over airport noise. While FAA has acknowledged this role and the detrimental impacts of aircraft noise on airport-adjacent communities, much more action is needed in a timely manner to help mitigate airplane noise in the region.

For years, we have worked together to combat aviation noise in our communities. Just last year, we were pleased to see the centralized FAA Noise Portal that we had long advocated for come online. Additionally, after years of delay, the FAA last year released the results of its Neighborhood Environmental Survey about aviation noise annoyance. The released data was collected in 2015, thereby creating a six-year lag in information. These are the types of delays we would like to see diminished under a new Administrator.

Additionally, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in September of 202 entitled, "Aircraft Noise: FAA Could Improve Outreach through Enhanced Noise Metrics, Communication, and Support to Communities" that analyzed how FAA conducts has implemented new flight path procedures and their related public outreach activities. One of their recommendations for FAA was improving communications tools and strategies for public outreach in order to better facilitate more meaningful public involvement. Communities residing within the National Capital Region continue to express frustration with lackluster communication with the FAA, so it is important that an incoming Administrator prioritize this issue.

We look forward to working with your nominee for FAA Administrator to address aviation noise in the National Capital Region and again urge you to choose someone who will take the issue seriously.