Lawmakers Urge Airlines to Take Actions Similar to Those Taken by JetBlue and United Airlines
Washington, DC -- United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA), along with Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA-08), Congressman Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA-04), House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark (D-MA-05), and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07) sent letters to three airlines with major operations at Boston Logan International Airport--American Airlines, Delta and Southwest Airlines--urging them to act to reduce airplane-related noise problems that have affected Massachusetts residents and communities across the country.
Since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) introduced the NextGen satellite-based navigation system in 2013, which was meant to create more fuel-efficient flight paths, communities in Massachusetts and throughout the country haveexperienced increased airplane noise, with the Massachusetts Port Authority and several municipalities seeing a sharp spikein airplane noise complaints.
Last year, Senators Warren and Markey introduced the Senate companion to Congressman Lynch's Air Traffic Noise and Pollution Expert Consensus Act of 2019, a bill to require the FAA to work with the National Academy of Sciences to study the effects of air traffic noise and pollution on human health. Senator Warren and Congressman Lynch are also co-sponsors of the Cleaner, Quieter Airplanes Act, which would make investments in technologies needed to cut airplane noise and reduce carbon pollution from commercial airlines by half.
"As Congress works to address airplane noise, and address the noise pollution that has resulted from FAA's new navigation system, your company can also take steps to alleviate concerns of communities affected by increased airplane noise," the lawmakers wrote in their letters.
The lawmakers noted that several airlines with operations in Boston Logan Airport have voluntarily taken measures to address airplane-related noise problems affecting nearby communities. In October 2018, following a letter the lawmakers sent with other members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, JetBlue announced plans to retrofit its entire Airbus fleet with noise-reducing vortex generators. In their latest letters, the lawmakers asked the airlines to implement similar measures.
"We ask that your company take steps to reduce airplane noise from your fleet and provide information about how your company has worked to mitigate noise-related complaints associated with your airplanes by February 28, 2020," the lawmakers continued.
Senator Warren has been working to ensure airplane-related noise problems affecting communities are addressed: