The amendment was added to the fiscal 2020 transportation appropriations bill.
The House’s action comes just weeks after the Government Accountability Office — at the request of several lawmakers in the Washington region — said it would study the effect of helicopter noise on residents in the region. That study is expected to begin this fall.
The Washington region is one of dozens of communities nationwide where the number of noise complaints tied to takeoffs and landings at local airports has grown significantly. Many blame the FAA’s efforts to modernize the aviation system, an initiative known as NextGen, for the increase. The goal of NextGen is to replace World War II-era radar technology with modern satellite-based navigation. The FAA says the shift would allow planes to fly more direct routes, saving time and fuel. But the changes mean that flights are sometimes concentrated into more narrow corridors, which troubles residents on the ground. In other cases, new flight paths are established, exposing residents who hadn’t previously dealt with airplane traffic to more noise.
Norton also was able to include several noise-related provisions in last year’s FAA reauthorization bill, including ensuring more community involvement in FAA NextGen projects and funding for studies that examine the effect of airplane noise and emissions on people’s health.
The amendment was co-sponsored by Democratic Reps. Don Beyer (Va.), Ruben Gallego (Ariz.), Ro Khanna (Calif.), Jimmy Panetta (Calif), Scott Peters (Calif), Mike Quigley (Ill.) Jamie B. Raskin (Md.), Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), Brad Sherman (Calif.) and Thomas Suozzi (N.Y.).