Today, Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Howard Berman (D-CA) introduced the Valley-Wide Noise Relief Act to allow Bob Hope and Van Nuys Airports to adopt curfews.
"Both airports have had noise restrictions, including partial and voluntary curfews, in effect for more than a generation, but neither airport fits precisely within any of the narrow exemptions in the 1990 law," Rep. Schiff said. "Exempting these two airports from the ANCA would reduce aviation-related nighttime noise, which interferes in the daily activities of Valley residents living under the flight paths and in close proximity to the terminals."
"Valley residents living under the flight path and near Bob Hope and Van Nuys Airports should be able to enjoy a restful night without the roar of jet engines waking them up in the middle of the night," said Rep. Sherman, whose district includes both airports. "We are committed to achieving a solution that ultimately reduces or eliminates nighttime noise within the communities that have fought for relief for decades. Our improved legislative language will help balance the needs of aviation and those residents seeking peace and quiet in their communities."
"For many years I have been fighting on behalf of Valley residents to end the problem of nighttime noise created by the Van Nuys and Burbank airports," added Rep. Berman. "While partial curfews have been imposed, the FAA has long stood in the way of achieving real relief. Our legislation will finally put an end to these bureaucratic roadblocks and deliver much deserved peace and quiet for area residents by imposing comprehensive evening curfews at both airports."
The legislation would clarify that, for many of the same reasons that several other airports were exempted when it was enacted in 1990, these two airports should be exempted from the Airport Noise and Capacity Act. In the case of the Bob Hope Airport, this was one of the first airports in the country to impose a curfew. The Van Nuys curfew was a partial curfew that applied to some, but not all, operators. The language would allow Burbank and Van Nuys Airports to adopt non-discriminatory curfews applicable to operators from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The legislation would apply only to airports that already had at least a partial curfew in effect before 1990 when ANCA was enacted. The legislation is designed to address the omission of not allowing curfews at these two airports, but is not intended to open the door to any further exemptions from that Act.
Furthermore, it would address concerns that the FAA cited in rejecting Burbank's Part 161 application for a curfew -- that it would add congestion to an already crowded airspace and it would impact the national system of airports because it would cause system wide delays. The proposal would have a minimal impact on local airspace because a joint curfew for both airports is designed to ensure that air traffic is not shifted from one airport to the other. Additionally, as Van Nuys Airport is part of a larger consortium of airports, including one of the largest in the country, LAX, that is willing and able to accept nighttime traffic the consortium can structure and implement the curfew in a manner that ensures that it does not negatively affect local and national airspace.