More input on jet noise, protection against being bumped in new FAA rules

  • A five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration contains measures to mitigate noise for neighborhoods near O'Hare and Midway international airports.

    A five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration contains measures to mitigate noise for neighborhoods near O'Hare and Midway international airports. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Updated 9/27/2018 6:06 PM

A law empowering flyers and residents hit by jet noise passed with strong backing from Democrats and Republicans in the midst of a partisan war over a Supreme Court nomination this week.

The U.S. House voted 398-23 Wednesday on a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration with the Illinois delegation in full support.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, a Western Springs Democrat, said the law requires the FAA to establish regional noise ombudsmen and to offer better public outreach when it redesigns airspace.

The updates will "really make the FAA pay more attention to communities when creating new traffic patterns in and out of airports," Lipinski said.

A switch in 2013 to an east/west flight pattern at O'Hare resulted in an unexpected crescendo of jets for suburban neighborhoods.

"It's been an issue at O'Hare and Midway that (changes) were created without local input," said Lipinski, who sits on the House Transportation Committee.

Other changes require the agency to study the effects of airplane noise on health and re-examine the 65-decibel standard that qualifies homes for soundproofing aid.

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In April 2017, physician David Dao was injured as security officers dragged him protesting off an overbooked United Airlines flight at O'Hare. In response, the reauthorization prohibits airlines from removing passengers after boarding.

"Once you are on a plane, you cannot be bumped from the flight," Lipinski said.

The reauthorization also permits smaller airports to apply for federal funding to construct air traffic control towers, which could benefit local facilities, Lipinski said.

The bill is expected to be voted on and approved by the Senate in the next week or so.

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