Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet

For immediate release
August 30, 2022

Ted Rueter
[email protected]

Chapel Hill: Representative Don Beyer (D., Virginia) has won a “Healthy Soundscape” award from Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet for his leadership in getting the “Cleaner, Quieter Airplanes Act” passed by Congress and signed by the President. Beyer represents the 8th district of Virginia and is a member of the Quiet Skies Caucus. The Cleaner, Quieter Airplanes Act is a major step in reducing aircraft noise.

Representative Beyer introduced the Cleaner, Quieter Airplanes Act on December 17, 2019. He stated that the bill “would address climate change and noise pollution from aircraft, two of the most persistent problems I hear about from northern Virginia. As the climate crisis continues to inflict damage on American communities, Congress must look at every available option to reduce emissions, and that should include the aviation industry.” Beyer noted that the legislation will lead to “quieter skies above and peace of mind to communities near airports.”

Specifically, the bill:

– “Establishes an ambitious goal of commercial airplanes emitting 50 percent less greenhouse gas and 50 percent less noise compared to 2019 levels by 2030 for regional planes and 2040 for larger, single-aisle planes.

– Authorizes NASA to accelerate its work on electrified propulsion systems and the integration of multiple systems and the integration of multiple technologies and airframe concepts to achieve noise and emissions reductions.

– Challenges NASA to work with industry partners to carry our flight tests by 2025 and to bring new airplanes into service between 2030 and 2040.

– Requires NASA to provide guidance on new technologies to help the FAA’s work to ensure the safe and effective deployment of these technologies.”

Chuck Elkins, a Washington, D.C. resident and former EPA official, stated that “noise from airplanes that wakes us up, interrupts conversations, and keeps students from hearing their teachers is not acceptable.  Airplanes and airports can and should be much quieter. I am very pleased by passage of this legislation.”

Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, commented that “Representative Beyer employed a great strategy for getting this bill passed: he got the text of his legislation included in a broader bill—the CHIPS and Science Act. I am hoping that Congressional supporters of restoring the Office of Noise Abatement and Control will follow a similar strategy. It is time to reinstate the federal noise pollution control office.”

Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization supporting noise reduction.  Past winners of the Healthy Soundscape award include Knoxville, Tennessee (for installing a noise camera downtown); the New York state legislature and governor (for passing the SLEEP Act concerning motor vehicle noise); and West Chester, Pennsylvania (for taking action to reduce noise downtown).