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Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong support for the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Frelinghuysen, to require that the FAA restrict the use of any funding for the implementation of the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia metropolitan area airspace redesign.
I have no issue with improving the quality of air travel; I agree that flight delays are a serious problem, particularly at New York-area airports. I simply want to ensure that a fair and appropriate balance is reached between the quality of flight in the air and the quality of life on the ground.
For many years now, I have fought the FAA on its current plan to redraw the airspace over New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. It would redirect thousands of flights per year over the houses of many of my constituents. This increased aircraft noise affects peoples daily lives in many ways. It is more than a nuisance. Aircraft noise can adversely affect children in schools; the elderly in nursing facilities; and families in their homes. Additionally, these homes may decrease in value as a result of this aircraft noise.
Proponents of the airspace redesign have long maintained that it is necessary to redesign the airspace because a significant portion of the delays in our national airspace derive from the tri-state area. We have long maintained that redesigning the airspace in the way the FAA is proposing would have very little effect on delays but would adversely affect the lives of thousands of people.
There is still time for the FAA to achieve a balance in this process between the needs of those in the air and those on the ground. This amendment would force the FAA to delay implementation of the redesign plan and find an alternative that would achieve a better balance between competing interests. I strongly support the gentleman's amendment, and urge its adoption.
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