FAA Reauthorization not likely to be amended
Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has presented a “No Noise” bill while rival for 48th district, Harley Rouda, cries foul. What do you think?
Rep. Dana Tyrone Rohrabacher, once a speechwriter and Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan, showed his linguistic, legislative talent by entitling a new bill—”National Overflight and New Onerous, Incessant Sound Elimination Act,” [i] [NO NOISE Act].
The quote indicates that the intent of the Congressman is to:
“While safety is of course the first and foremost priority when changing or creating flight procedures, the quality of life in communities below should be considered above the efficiency of airlines.”
Clearly his staff will have to revise that language, but in essence, the point is to prioritize the impact on the community of an air traffic route above the weight given to the “efficiency” of the airlines. The problem is that the FAA’s ATC drafting does not include the airlines’ economics; rather the existing standard is the ATC system’s efficiency. Implicit in that environmental assessment is reduction of the fuel burned by the aircraft. The Rohrabacher test would pit local impact against a national goal of reduction of air pollution. The drafter of such a balancing will have to be endowed with super human skills.
As the above two maps suggest, the 48th Congressional District and the adjoining communities have a number of airports in their collective geography. Moving an approach or departure pattern to meet the Rohrabacher criteria will likely deposit the attendant noise over another Member’s constituents. The area’s aviation density and accompanying economic benefits create an exercise which is very much a zero-sum game. Thus, it is highly likely that neighboring Californian Congresspersons will oppose this bill because its consequence might be to increase the noise over their districts.
A possible concern in this section of the Southern California Basin may be Environmental Justice.
Last and not least, after tremendous bipartisan efforts in the House, a VERY clean FAA Reauthorization Bill was passed by the House several months ago. The Senate is struggling to pass a similarly uncontroversial bill against a September 30 deadline.
NO NOISE has NO CHANCE of passing.
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