Quigley Co-Sponsors Airplane Impacts Mitigation Act
CHICAGO, IL – This week, Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05), member of the Quiet Skies Caucus, signed on as an original co-sponsor of H.R. 598, the Airplane Impacts Mitigation (AIM) Act of 2017, to address increasing levels and durations of airplane noise and ensure that the health impacts of airplane overflights are thoroughly examined. The AIM Act will ensure that strong, independent research into the health impacts of prolonged exposure to airplane noise and emissions is available to inform the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) decision-making going forward.
“The persistent noise pollution many of my constituents in Chicago face every day is not only a source of major aggravation but also a serious public health concern that requires immediate action supported by sound science,” said Rep. Quigley (IL-05). “I am proud to co-sponsor the Airplane Impacts Mitigation (AIM) Act, which will address air contamination and the impacts of noise caused by airplane overflights. This bill will help enhance the quality of life and improve the health of residents living near airports across the country.”
With the adoption of the NextGen, GPS-based navigation system, hundreds of flights per day are guided with laser-like precision over narrow flight paths. While the RNAV procedures of the NextGen system can increase efficiency, the neighborhoods lying beneath flight paths experience extended periods of aircraft noise and exposure to air pollutants, raising health implications and negatively impacting the quality of life for local families.
H.R. 598, the Airplane Impacts Mitigation (AIM) Act of 2017 has 18 original cosponsors including Representatives Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Michael E. Capuano (MA-07), Katherine M. Clark (MA-05), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09), Hakeem S. Jeffries (NY-08), Donald S. Beyer (VA-08), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Joseph Crowley (NY-14), Grace Meng (NY-06), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Daniel Lipinski (IL-03), Janice D. Schakowsky (IL-09), Scott Peters (CA-52), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Kathleen M. Rice (NY-04), and Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-03).
The AIM Act requires the FAA Administrator to enter into an agreement with a reputable and independent school of public health to conduct a study of the health impacts of airplane flights on residents exposed to a range of noise and air pollution levels from such flights, including asthma exacerbation, sleep disturbance, stress, and elevated blood pressure.
The study will focus on residents living partly or wholly within the land area underneath the flight paths most frequently used by aircraft flying including during takeoff or landing at an altitude lower than 10,000 feet. It will consider only those health impacts that manifest during the physical implementation of the NextGen RNAV program.
In addition, the AIM Act mandates that the study will focus on residents in Chicago, Boston, New York, the Northern California Metroplex region, Phoenix, and up to three additional cities. These five areas have noticed a distinct change in flight paths and sharp shifts in airplane noise as a result of the NextGen flight system.
O’Hare International Airport became a part of Illinois’ Fifth Congressional District in January 2013. Since then, Rep. Quigley has met continuously with neighborhood organizations and aviation officials to discuss solutions to increased noise pollution resulting from the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP). In a Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee hearing this year, Rep. Quigley pressured Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta to commit to taking actions to protect residents and their property around O'Hare International Airport from aircraft noise. He and other Illinois representatives released a statement in response to the Chicago Department of Aviation’s (CDA) plans to mitigate O’Hare noise after a previous letter was sent to the organization pushing them to address practical solutions to noise complaints. Rep. Quigley joined other members of the Quiet Skies Caucus in a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with recommendations for the FAA 2015 Reauthorization Act that would help address the harmful impacts of aircraft noise on communities across the country. In May 2015, he secured language in the FY16 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) funding bill mandating the FAA develop short and long-term measures to mitigate excessive airplane noise experienced by local communities around O’Hare International Airport. In Congress, Rep. Quigley helped create the Quiet Skies Caucus and introduced the Silent Skies Act to help combat aircraft noise on a national level.
The text of H.R. 598, the Airplane Impacts Mitigation (AIM) Act of 2017 is available here.