A small group of noise-impacted citizens have worked together to create a petition that is generally aimed at:
- restoring local control on airport environmental impacts;
- maximizing aviation transparency (so impacted neighbors can use real data to efficiently resolve aviation noise problems); and
- stripping FAA of the environmental regulation authorities they have increasingly abused (…in apparent ‘service’ to the airlines and other aviation operators).
This past year has been extraordinary for the extent of news coverage on aviation noise impacts. The highest profile news stories have involved FAA’s botched NextGen implementations at major commercial airports near Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, LaGuardia, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St.Paul, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle. But the loss of quality of life caused by excessive aircraft noise also happens near smaller airports, particularly those with operations using repetitive flight patterns and noisier aircraft types, such as:
- AIR TOURISM: In places like the Grand Canyon and Hawaii, the vistas are astounding, but the quality of the experience is destroyed by the loud ‘thump-thump-thump’ of commercial air tour helicopters. The huge profits made by the operators come at a great ‘cost’ to other park visitors. The National Park Service has worked for decades to create meaningful aviation noise regulation, but their efforts are always stymied by FAA and the very operators FAA fails to regulate.
— When are we going to take FAA out of the business of impeding the regulation of aviation noise in parks?
- BANNER-TOWS: there have been seven newsworthy banner tow accidents thus far in 2015, with multiple injuries and one fatality.
— Do we really need noisy airplanes to sell us insurance and beer?
- CLOSED-PATTERN FLIGHT-INSTRUCTION: The busiest airport in Oregon is not Portland, but Hillsboro, where FAA recently spent tens of millions to add another runway to accommodate flight instruction. A single company makes a huge amount by importing student pilots from around the world, especially China, to train in the local airport traffic patterns. The problem: the training aircraft burn mostly leaded aviation fuel, and they fly low over neighborhoods and schools.
— If we are importing students from China, shouldn’t FAA ensure they train away from our homes, perhaps at large remote airports?
- HELICOPTER AIR CHARTERS: Tens of thousands of residents on Long Island endure invasive noise when financially elite passengers take expensive helicopter rides out to the Hamptons. The town of East Hampton has for decades refused to accept FAA money, so they can regain local control. FAA is fighting them every way they can.
— Shouldn’t FAA allow local officials to serve local taxpaying citizens, by imposing reasonable regulations on local airport activities?
- JET AIR CHARTERS: Just like at East Hampton, on the West Coast the people in Santa Monica have fought for decades to reclaim control of their local airport. Their public health concerns include air pollution, noise pollution and the lack of needed safety zones to handle more than 14,000 jet operations per year. Homes are literally across a chain-link fence from the airplanes; so close that lawn furniture is blown over when charter jets and bizjets turn to take the runway. Jet fumes (and leaded fumes from the flight-training planes) continue to choke neighbors. The airport simply cannot contain dangerous runway excursions by jets, but still, FAA’s lawyers continue to take administrative and legal actions against the local authorities, blocking their efforts to assert local control.
— The impacts at Santa Monica are so egregious and so thoroughly documented, it just makes no sense that these good citizens have to keep fighting for clean air and peace. Will Congress finally step in and force FAA to allow reasonable regulations by local officials?
- NEWS-COPTERS & OTHER LOW-FLYING HELICOPTERS: FAA’s rules effectively mean that there are no reasonable minimum altitudes and helicopters can be flown at any altitude. The result is a growing problem of very noisy and invasive news helicopters, as well as privately owned copters used to commute between the office and residential helipads.
— Given the high noise levels of helicopters, isn’t it time that FAA set rules that force them to fly higher, further from our homes and schools?
- SKYDIVING: These airplanes are modified to climb faster (and get as many trips in each hour), making them among the noisiest airplanes in use. These operators also have a habit of ‘offsetting’ their climbs 4- to 8-miles away from the airport, so that impacted residents have no idea that all-day-long airplane drone is related to skydiving.
— Given the concentrated noise impacts of skydiving, isn’t it time for FAA to adopt meaningful regulations and environmental review, to protect the rights of people to maintain quality of life?
So, PLEASE sign this Petition! And, please also spend a minute and share your personal comment. Let everyone know what is happening where you live…
…which airport impacts your life, and how has FAA
failed to help you and your neighbors?