Outreach to Congress – FAA Reauthorization

June 23, 2017

A draft bill of the FAA Reauthorization has been released and will be debated in the coming month.  The Polis Amendment, which would restore local control at general aviation airports,  will be offered during the process.  We are still seeking a Republican House co-sponsor for the bill.

[Discussion Draft] AMENDMENT TO H.R. ll OFFERED BY MR. POLIS OF COLORADO
Page ll, after line ll, insert the following:
SEC. ll. AUTHORITY OF GENERAL AVIATION AIRPORTS 1 TO RESTRICT FLIGHTS.

2 (a) IN GENERAL.—The owner or operator of a gen-

3 eral aviation airport is authorized to restrict the number

4 and type of aircraft operations occurring at the airport,

5 including the dates and times of such operations.

6 (b)

COMMUNITY INPUT.—In exercising authority

7 under subsection (a), an owner or operator of a general

8 aviation airport shall take into account input received

9 from individuals and entities in the community sur-10 rounding the airport.

11 (c) FEDERAL FUNDING.—No Federal funds may be

12 withheld from or denied to a general aviation airport based

13 solely on an exercise of authority by the owner or operator

14 of the airport under subsection (a).

15 (d) EMERGENCIES.—The Secretary of Transpor-

16 tation may restrict the authority of an owner or operator

17 of a general aviation airport under subsection (a) as nec-

18 essary in the case of an emergency.

19…

(e) GENERAL AVIATION AIRPORT DEFINED.—In this 1 section, the term ‘‘general aviation airport’’ has the mean-

2 ing given that term in section 47102 of title 49, United 3 States Code.

 

 

Posted Aug. 19, 2015

Dear Quiet Skies Supporters, both near and far:

Please join our outreach efforts to Congress regarding the upcoming FAA Reauthorization.  We would be delighted to have supporters in every state sending this letter to their House Representative and the caucus – they need to hear from you!

The letter below focuses on local impacts from general aviation (GA) airports, and skydiving.  If you are affected by other kinds of GA traffic, simply replace the 2 paragraphs regarding skydiving noise with your specific concerns, whether it be touch-and-goes, helicopters or unrestrained night flights.  General aviation airports should be subject to reasonable regulations that protect the local community.

Please send the letter below  to:
1.)    your House Representative (change salutation accordingly) and
2.)  Mark Snyder, who is the assistant to Congressman Steve Israel, the ranking member of the caucus:  Mark.Snyder@mail.house.gov”.  Send as it is currently addressed – to Members of Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus.
If you are a constituent of  Congressman Jared Polis, please thank him for joining the Quiet Skies Caucus and send the letter to him and his staff:
Jared Polis:  jared@jaredpolis.com
Jennifer Geroge-Nichol:  jgeorgenichol@gmail.com
Danielle Henry:  Danielle.henry@mail.house.gov

*******************


Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus
2457 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
 
Dear Members of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus:
 
I write to you today to bring to your attention an issue of great concern to countless residents across the United States. Residents
in Longmont, CO, Molalla, ORCloverdale, CAChatham, MATecumsah, MILancaster, OH, Oak Harbor, WA, and likely many others, are repeatedly faced with impacts from aviation operations associated with skydiving businesses operating out of general aviation (GA) airports. Under current practice, these primarily recreational businesses are allowed to operate out of GA airports with little or no effective federal oversight or local control of their noise impacts on surrounding residents, many of whom live in neighborhoods several miles distant from the airport.
 
At Longmont Airport (KLMO) for example, skydiving operations have been growing rapidly in recent years without consideration for the impact on surrounding communities, including those far away from the airport.  In 2014, 60% of all Longmont Airport weekend flights were for skydiving.  This massive amount of slow-moving, low-altitude, excessively noisy air traffic consists of 55 or more skydiving flights a day on spring, summer and fall weekends, passing multiple times per flight over residential neighborhood seven or more miles away from the airport, and producing 70 or more noise incidents in those neighborhoods (many of which peak at over 70 dbA) on each of those weekend days. 
 
Our understanding of current FAA regulations is that noise exposure is measured using the Day-Night Level metric (DNL) and mitigation or abatement procedures are only implemented if the exposure is above 65 dBbA DNL. This metric is currently applied equally to national air transportation hubs, as well as to GA airports in residential areas which support primarily recreational activities where we believe a different, more stringent noise standard should be used.
 
While I appreciate the great complexity of managing our nation’s airspace and its impacts on airport-adjacent communities, I want to highlight the impacts of primarily recreational aircraft operations on residential communities. Residents in our area wish to engage in a dialogue to discuss a national strategy to promote best practices that mitigate airport noise-generating activities associated with frequent, slow-moving, low-altitude overflights such as those used by skydiving businesses based out of GA airports.
 
It is my hope moving forward that as the FAA bill is reauthorized, we are able to show through a collaborative and balanced approach, that the impact of these operations on our communities should be taken into account and their mitigation promoted as a part of a broad shift at the FAA and nationally to be better neighbors and move toward effective noise mitigation strategies for GA airports. I am making your office aware of this because I know airport noise is brought before you frequently and I want to highlight that my stance aligns with communities across the country who wish to work with stakeholders at every level to find meaningful and mutually acceptable solutions.
 
Thank you for your consideration and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like additional information.