Jet 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.