US Senator Schumer re-introduces helicopter noise legislation

US Senator Schumer re-introduces helicopter noise legislation 29 Feb, 12, Source: HAI

Having failed to get helicopter noise legislation into the compromise FAA authorization bill, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has broadened the scope of his proposal and is now trying to attach it to the highway trust fund authorization bill currently being debated on Capitol Hill.

The proposed Schumer amendment now includes language affecting the south shore of Long Island and airspace over a state he does not represent – California’s Los Angeles County. HAI members need to let their members of Congress know they oppose legislation that puts greater emphasis on noise than safety.

Recognizing Schumer’s proposal as bad lawmaking, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected the proposal when they declined to include it in their version of the FAA authorization bill, and convinced their Senate counterparts to do the same during the conference committee meetings that led to the recently enacted bill.

While the legislation is currently pending only in the Senate, members of both chambers need to be made aware of the potential ramifications if passed.

HAI members may wish to consider the following points as they prepare comments for their representatives.

– The FAA’s primary responsibility is the safe operation of the U.S. national airspace system;
– Allowing local noise concerns alone to drive FAA regulatory changes to airspace design and access sets a precedent that jeopardizes a cohesive national airspace system;
– Exemptions included in the amendment mean that private and corporate aviation are singled out;
– Voluntary compliance with mutually agreed guidelines developed cooperatively by local communities, aircraft operators, and regulators are more effective at addressing community concerns than legislatively mandated “fixes.”

Congressional legislators need to understand the potential consequences of Sen. Schumer’s proposed amendment. You can find contact information for your representatives and senators at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

Photo – David Shankbone

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