C RY D E R
P O I N T
Image via Creative Commons
Qns. pols: FAA will fix
airplane noise measures
WWW.QNS.COM | APRIL 2018 | CRYDER POINT COURIER 17
BY SUZANNE MONTEVERDI
SMONTEVERDI@QNS.COM / @SMONT76
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is being directed to take an updated look
at the way it measures aircraft noise and its effects on surrounding communities in
Queens and other parts of the country.
The FAA will evaluate alternative metrics to the current Day-Night Average Sound
Level (DNL) method of studying the airplane noise. The measure was introduced as a
provision in the newly enacted omnibus appropriations bill.
Queens Congressmembers Grace Meng, Tom Suozzi, Joe Crowley, Greg Meeks and
Hakeem Jeffries, who are each members of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus, announced
the provision on April 2.
Under the DNL method, aircraft noise is measured on a scale that averages all community
noise during a 24-hour period, with a tenfold penalty on noise that occurs
during nighttime and early morning hours.
The system was the result of a transportation noise survey conducted in the 1970s. In
1981, the FAA established “DNL 65 decibels” as the guideline at which federal funding
is available for soundproofing or other noise mitigation.
Instead of producing recommendations based on actual noise levels, lawmakers said,
the current measuring method relies on modeling and simulations to determine “annoyance”
levels. This system is antiquated, according to Meng, who represents areas
including Bayside, Flushing and Elmhurst.
“The metric of 65 DNL has long been outdated and does not adequately measure the
true impact of aircraft noise,” said Meng, founding member of the caucus. “That is why
it’s time to for the FAA re-evaluate it.”
Suozzi, who represents a portion of northeast Queens and Long Island and serves as
co-chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, also backed the provision.
“Queens and Long Island residents deserve to live in peace and quiet,” he said. “This
provision will require the FAA to take important steps in addressing noise reduction
so people are not bombarded at all hours of the day and night.”
Queens residents, especially those in northeast communities like Bayside,
Flushing and Whitestone, have fought an uphill battle against aircraft noise
in recent years. Data released from a sound monitor installed in Flushing in
August 2016 revealed noise jumped beyond 65 DNL about a third of the time
In 2017, Suozzi announced the FAA would take a series of steps to study and work
to alleviate constituents’ distress after hearing concerns voiced at a town hall meeting
Queens is home to LaGuardia and JFK International Airports, two of the busiest in
the country. In 2015, the FAA announced a multi-year effort to update scientific evidence
on the relationship between aircraft noise exposure and its effects on communities