Pascrell Opposes FAA Reauthorization

Pascrell Opposes FAA Reauthorization

Republicans blocked Pascrell plan to crack down on commercial helicopter noise

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today voted against the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“While reauthorization of the FAA should be a straightforward affair, I did not vote for this legislation for two main reasons,” said Congressman Pascrell. “First, the bill was wrong to raise the retirement age of commercial airlines pilots without any study, consideration of safety, engagement with the pilots themselves, or acknowledgement of international standards. Second, House Republicans voted to block my plan to help combat rampant commercial helicopter noise over our Tristate communities and elsewhere. While the bill certainly makes some progress on helicopter noise, I will continue to seek ways to enact my plan and help alleviate the misery of many of our neighbors.

“On the aviation safety front, I am deeply gratified that my New York colleagues saved the 1,500 hours of flight experience requirement for commercial pilots. After Flight 3407 tragically crashed out of Newark in 2009, America has not had a single commercial crash – and it is because of that requirement which we passed thanks to the efforts of the 3407 families. It is one of the most important things I have defended in Congress and I thank Congressmen Brian Higgins and Nick Langworthy for their amendment correcting the policy mistake in this bill. But ultimately, I cannot support this measure as is.”

This year, Congressman Pascrell has led efforts to amend the FAA reauthorization to address the growing problem of helicopter noise over communities in North Jersey, as well as New York City.

Studies have detailed the negative impacts of aircraft noise, including from helicopters, causes disturbances that can increase community annoyance, disrupt sleep, adversely affect academic performance of children, and even increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Specifically, Pascrell encouraged the Committee to implement recommendations from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) that requires the FAA to develop a mechanism to improve the sharing of information regarding noise complaints, as well as GAO recommendations to improve FAA officials’ ability to identify the helicopter operators. This is a pervasive issue because the opaque ownership structures used by owners to register their aircraft limit FAA’s oversight, and with it public transparency. On March 15, 2023, Pascrell joined Congressmembers Dan Goldman (D-NY-10), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14), Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Charles Schumer (D-NY), and others in push the leaders of the FAA and National Park Service to do more to address commercial helicopter noise. Rep. Pascrell pressed the FAA for answers on federal actions that can be taken to curtail noise from helicopter flights above residential areas in North Jersey in September 2022.

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