Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Grace Meng have introduced into Congress the Quiet Communities Act. The proposed legislation would return funding to the EPA’s Office of Noise Abatement and Control. ONAC used to enforce environmental regulations that curbed aviation noise as a public health and safety measure. It was gutted by the Reagan Administration. Not long thereafter, the FAA was given oversight of aviation noise and pollution nationwide.
The FAA is what political scientists call a “captured agency.” It works for and with the airlines it is supposed to regulate. I once saw a memo from an FAA Administrator from the last decade to all FAA staff. It asked them to remember not to call the airlines “our customers.”
QQS member Doran Chan found the following article. Although it’s not about aviation noise or pollution, it nicely illustrates why the FAA should never to be in charge of health and safety dangers to the public and the environment caused by aircraft noise and pollution. Safety in the air is the FAA’s mission and they do it well. But, as the FAA exists currently, it can’t be trusted to protect public health and the environment.