Crowley introduces bill calling for quieter airplanes
by Andrew Pavia
Dec 11, 2013 | 2208 views | 3 3 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Congressman Joe Crowley and local elected officials announce the Silent Skies Act at LaGuardia Airport's Marine Air Terminal.
Congressman Joe Crowley and local elected officials announce the Silent Skies Act at LaGuardia Airport's Marine Air Terminal.
As Queens residents continue to voice their concerns regarding airplane noise due to changes in flight patterns, one congressman is pushing legislation to make the planes themselves quieter.

Joined by several elected officials at LaGuardia Airport last week, Congressman Joe Crowley announced a bill the Silent Skies Act, a bill that would call on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue regulations by the end of 2015 requiring commercial airplanes to meet stage 4 noise standards, which is a reduction of sound by 10 decibels from stage 3.

This bill will also push to have newer commercial planes with quieter engines replace the older models that are still being flown.

In 2006, the FAA issued regulations that required all new commercial airplanes to be designed to meet the stage 4 noise standards, however the older models are still flying over Queens.

“Airports can never be perfect neighbors, but we can take steps to make them better neighbors,” said Crowley. “The Silent Skies Act will help achieve that goal by requiring airlines to be stocking their fleets with newer, quieter aircraft.”

According to Crowley, the legislation would require airlines phase in the quieter engines at a rate of 25 percent of its fleet every five years. That would mean that all commercial fleets would meet the stage 4 standards by 2035 at the latest.

“Recent changes in flight procedures have caused constant intolerable noise in wide areas of our New York and New Jersey metro area,” said Janet McEneany president of Queens Quiet Skies. “With this proposed legislation, Rep. Crowley is telling members of the airline industry that we expect them to take their share of responsibility to fix the problems caused by those new flight procedures.”

Looking to the future, McEneany views this proposal as a positive step, no matter the outcome.

“Whether this is the end of the line I couldn’t tell you,” she said. “ But this is a very good initiative and Queens Quiet Skies fully supports it.”

The bill is co-sponsored by Queens congress members Gregory Meeks and Grace Meng. Crowley said he is not sure if the bill will be supported by Republicans, however he is confident that the Silent Skies Act will pass the House.

The bill would also encourage research and development of quieter engine technologies. Currently, there is no federal funding dedicated to the development of quieter engines for commercial airplanes.

“Airplane noise continues to ruin the quality of lie in Queens,” said Meng. “It is imperative that we do all we can to reduce it, and requiring the airlines to fly quieter aircrafts would go a long way towards achieving that critical goal.”

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February 20, 2014
As bad as the noise is, the pollution may be worse...

The NextGen CDA has aircraft descending with their engines at idle in a failed attempt to reduce noise and fuel consumption, but jet engines do not burn fuel efficiently at idle.

An idling jet engine spews microscopic droplets of unburned jet fuel. A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, and published in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Journal found that when the exhaust from idling jet engines was exposed to sunlight in a smog chamber, the unburned droplets in the exhaust broke down into microscopic particles that can penetrate the lungs, and blood-brain barrier.

The noisy "NextGen" procedures should have never been put in place, without an environmental impact report.

The researchers were shocked to find that the quantity of particles produced by this process was 35 times the number of particles originally expelled by the engine.

"Idling Jets Produce 35 times More Particles" ~ May 13, 2011
December 22, 2013
Plane Exhaust Kills More People Than Plane Crashes

National Geographic News ~ October 5, 2010

"In recent years, airplane crashes have killed about a thousand people annually, whereas plane emissions kill about ten thousand people each year, researchers say.

Earlier studies had assumed that people were harmed only by the emissions from planes while taking off and landing. The new research is the first to give a comprehensive estimate of the number of premature deaths from all airline emissions."
December 21, 2013
Rep. J. Crowley Introduces "Sucker" Legislation.

Sorry, but I am very disappointed by the Silent Skies Act. Any new legislation needs to focus on noise at the destination (the human ear on the ground), not at the source. Most of the two-engined jets whistling overhead already meet the "stage 4" standards. This bill gives the airlines $30 million of your tax dollars, to retire obsolete aircraft they were already planning on phasing out by 2015. The Silent Skies Act is just a big gift to the airlines, masquerading as help for the folks on the ground. This legislation plays right into the hand of the airlines.

The airlines, and the FAA, have been claiming all along that with the "NextGen" approach, aircraft would emit less noise, while knowing all along that the folks on the ground would be hearing more noise because the "NextGen" approach is lower, the planes are more frequent, and the flights would be concentrated over a smaller population.

Rep. Joseph Crowley is just another sleazy politician serving the airlines, and screwing his constituents, while pretending to do the opposite. I feel sorry for the people of Queens who are going to have to suffer with jet noise for two years, only to find out the Silent Skies Act does nothing to relieve their plight. Fight for legislation that controls noises at the destination, not at the source, or you are going to be very disappointed when 2015 finally rolls around.