Citizens fight back against report that minimizes complaints about jet noise

planeJet Noise Is No Joke For Residents Burned By Report About Airport Complaints.  WAMU, American University Radio, reports that “[h]omeowners along the Potomac River in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland are angrily responding to a report claiming that a ‘small, frustrated minority of citizens is affecting aviation policy’ by swamping the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority with thousands of complaints about flights leaving Reagan National Airport in Arlington.”  The report stated that one resident was responsible for the lion’s share of the complaints, implying that jet noise was not a significant issue to other residents in affected areas.  WAMU found another story when they went out to those neighborhoods to speak to residents who deal with a constant barrage of jet engine noise:

To folks whose days and nights are filled with the sound of jet engines overhead, the Mercatus Center report failed to capture the extent of the problem. They say the proof that noise pollution impacts more than a “small, frustrated minority of citizens” is that MWAA formed a working group consisting of people from neighborhoods across the region, and the FAA currently is working with civic associations and neighborhood representatives to potentially alter flight paths to mitigate noise.

Long and short, the reason for the complaints is the FAA’s new NextGen program, “which uses satellite-based navigation to assign planes to direct routes to save fuel and time.”  The program was implemented throughout 2015 in the Washington metropolitan area, giving rise to a spike in complaints.  And it’s not just an issue in D.C.  NextGen has created problems throughout the country, spurring residents to ban together to fight back against plane noise exacerbated by NextGen.


Comments (2)

  1. Kyle Farris

    We went from 0 (zero) overflights before NextGen to over a 1,000 a month. We have flights going over us constantly going north to Portland and Seattle, not to mention many, many others. We are way east of those destinations if taking a more direct route. Those flights should be taking off and immediately heading north over the bay if they are more direct than before. NextGen direct flights and saving the planet/fuel are a lie. It appears it is nothing more than getting more flights in the air & making the airlines money. The closest drive to an airport is about an hour, which us OAK & longer to SFO. We don’t hang out in our yard any longer, we can’t cover the noise with TV, ear plugs, a fan running, cell phone white noise apps or any other white noise options we have researched & tried. We live in small community in a little valley and the noise is unbearable. It keeps us up late at night & wakes us early in the morning. It interrupts everything we do, conversation, meals together, work at home days, phone calls, reading, television and not to mention the most important thing after all that, SLEEP! It is literally killing us. We bought this house 20 years ago because it was a quiet oasis away from the city & now it’s a nightmare. Thanks & f’u NextGEN. I’m never flying again.

    1. GMB (Post author)

      Have you reached out to the National Quiet Skies Coalition? They are working closely with the congressional quiet skies caucus in trying to address airplane noise post NextGEN. Here’s the link:


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