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Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus recommends review of flawed metrics on airport noise study


The Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus (QSC) released a response from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conceding to review its metrics based on the agency’s Neighborhood Environmental Survey, a nationwide inquiry about aircraft noise annoyance.
Communities across the country – including neighbors of Trenton-Mercer Airport in New Jersey and Bucks County – have been voicing their issues with aircraft noise for years, reporting interrupted sleep, disruption of business and concerns about its impact on young children.
According to the QSC and aircraft noise control activists across the nation this is a win for residents living near airports. “The FAA’s concession that, at minimum, they are going to review their current aircraft noise metric means that they have finally acknowledged that it may be flawed when used to determine noise policy,” said a Congressional QSC official.
The FAA has agreed with the QSC that more thorough review is required to understand the true efficacy of the DNL metric and the 65 decibel DNL threshold in particular.

The concession by the FAA underlines the need for a Comprehensive Environmental Impact (EIS) Study that Trenton Threatened Skies (TTS) and other environmental advocacy groups have been demanding for years.
“When the FAA issues its Environmental Assessment findings, in the light of the many public concerns aired during a virtual public hearing and public comment period between July 2 - 15, we believe that the citizens of the region will be best served if the NJ DEP exercises its jurisdiction to evaluate the FAA findings,” said Judith Hoechner one of the leaders of the TTS movement.
The local group pledges to take its fight “directly to the Transportation Department, Environmental Protection Agency ... even to the White House in the interest of protecting communities in proximity of TTN (Trenton-Mercer Airport).”