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Beyer Works To Reduce Airplane Noise In FAA Reauthorization

Rep. Don Beyer today offered an amendment to legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that would eliminate early transition turns to the west over Alexandria City, combine waypoints to be centered over the Potomac River before crossing the Wilson Bridge, and move a waypoint to avoid crossing land near Fort Washington – all to decrease the impact of noise on the region. He also vowed robust opposition to efforts to weaken slot and perimeter rules at DCA. The U.S. House is expected to complete consideration of FAA reauthorization legislation later this week.

“My amendment would enact recommendations from residents across the region to reduce the impact of airplane noise on the area around DCA without impacting flight availability or safety. This is a good step forward to address a longstanding problem so many of my constituents experience,” said Rep. Beyer. “I am also closely following efforts to weaken slot and perimeter rules at the airport, which would increase congestion, delays, and cancellations at DCA and worsen the nuisance of airplane noise in my district. Such harmful measures could also adversely affect safety at the busiest runway in America, while harming service to small and midsize regional airports in many other markets. I will staunchly oppose any amendment to weaken DCA’s slot and perimeter rules, and am working with my colleagues to ensure that any such proposals are defeated.”

Beyer’s amendment, offered in response to community input from the DCA Community Working Group on Noise, would, among other directives, require flights south of DCA be centered over the Potomac for longer before they turn over land. It would also prevent planes from unnecessarily flying over land near Fort Washington. Moving the “waypoints” for such flights over the river and allowing planes to gain altitude before turning and flying over the river on decent would decrease noise impacting residents across the region. Text of Beyer’s amendment is here.

Beyer has been sharply critical of attempts to add slot exemptions at DCA, as have the DCA Community Noise Working Group, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Arlington County Board, the Washington Metro Airports Authority, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Aircraft noise has been a leading source of constituent complaints from across Northern Virginia since Beyer took office. He is a member of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus.