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Public Statements

Statement on H.R. 658, The FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the amendment offered by my colleagues Messrs. Garret, Engel, Andrews, and Himes.

* Since the publication of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) ``preferred alternative'' for the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Metropolitan Airspace Redesign project, I have sponsored and cosponsored several similar amendments that have sought to rectify this deeply flawed project that will increase aircraft noise over Northern New Jersey.

* Throughout my tenure in Congress and the New Jersey legislature, I have been a staunch advocate for reducing aircraft noise. I have attended dozens of public hearings, had meetings with officials from the FAA, and responded to thousands of calls from constituents whose lives have been affected by existing air traffic patterns and related noise.

* While the safety of passengers is paramount, and the vitality of the air transport system is important, people on the ground have a right to a quality of life with a minimum exposure to aircraft noise overhead.

* I understand the need for improving the efficiency of our Nation's aviation infrastructure to better accommodate the high demand for flights.

* However, the FAA has continually turned a ``deaf ear'' to the issue of aircraft noise, which affects all citizens on the ground, regardless of whether they travel by plane or not.

* Again, I have long fought against such noise increases. In particular, I strongly opposed the FAA's original redesign proposal in 2005, which would have had substantial noise increases throughout the New Jersey and New York metropolitan areas.

* The FAA's amended plan included some noise reductions from their original proposal, but did not go far enough.

* Now, despite strong opposition from Members of Congress and citizens throughout the region, the FAA is plowing ahead with its redesign plan, despite its flaws with respect to increased aircraft noise exposure. The FAA must cease this flawed redesign plan and come back to the drawing board to develop a proposal that strikes the proper balance between airspace efficiency and preventing noise increases, as well as any other environmental impacts.

* I urge the FAA to carefully consider alternatives that accomplish this goal. We must not forget about the ``silent majority'' of constituents on the ground!

* I urge support for this amendment and any effort to reduce the impact of aircraft noise above New Jersey.

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