Around the country communities have tried to negotiate with, sue, or beg the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)  to provide a reasonable solution to their new NextGen program. NextGen has created an onslaught of single file, low-flying, relentless planes assaulting residents underneath this air highway from Malibu to the Valley and from Santa Monica, and communities including Culver Cityand West Adams all the way to downtown LA. Other than an early win in Phoenix, the effort to hold them accountable has resulted in little more than empty promises, delaying tactics and a loss of lawsuits.

FEB19FAA The sky has become and will become even more entrenched in the untenable reality that there is a separation between the laws of an increasingly populated sky and the earth below, resulting in the creation of regulations and control of the sky that have little to no consideration of their effect on the earth below.  Efforts to include pollution from airplanes are excluded in government discussions of the sources of pollution, yet an estimate of carbon dioxide alone emitted from airplanes in 2015 was 5.4 million metric tons per year.

The sky is becoming its own kingdom ruled by the needs of the airline industry, backed up by the FAA and feeding the corporate "I want it and I want it now, future be damned" mentality that is prevalent and at the root of our devastating environmental problems. And it's getting worse. Pollution and noise problems from ever-increasing airflights have created a health crisis across America.   In Europe people are standing up to and protesting against this destructive worldview.

Realizing that local efforts in the USA have, in general, been unable to confront the power of the FAA, there has been an effort to bring together a national coalition of activists to create strength in numbers and support efforts in Congress to create laws addressing this health crisis and rein in the FAA's unrestricted control.  Sky Justice National Network Facebook page is a working hub for groups around the country to connect, inform and support each other. A recent five-member Sky Justice National Working Group (SJNWG) was also formed and an agenda of goals and actions for 2019 were set.  The group and other activists were happy to get the following update from Karen Bass's office. Representative Bass is our local Congressional Representative in the House and a dedicated member of their Quiet Skies Caucus. The update indicated that one of the goals SJNWG set for 2019 was well under way. We are advocating for Government funding for an independent study by the National Academy, called the Air Traffic Noise & Pollution Expert Consensus Act. The National Academy is an indpendant research organization created by Lincoln and used by the government to generate expert unbiased research into a variety of issues. They present their findings to Congress, which uses them to underpin informed legislation.  We are advocating a review of the health effects of noise and air pollution caused by NextGen and air flights which will be used to support any legislation for new laws that will prevent the kind of abuse citizens are currently subjected to.

Dear Quiet Skies Constituent Task force and interested folks,

Now that the government, including the FAA, has re-opened, I wanted to give you a brief update on what is happening on Airplane Noise in the new Democrat-majority 116th Congress.  We are all hoping that there will be more opportunities for making progress on this vital issue.

The Quiet Skies Caucus is ramping up as the new Congress gains momentum.  Here’s a quick update on recent developments:

-  Staff members of the Representatives on the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus met today in Washington, D.C.  They made plans for recruiting new members and discussed legislative options.

-  The top priority (not surprisingly) is to focus on swift, robust implementation by the FAA of the noise provisions that did make it into the FAA reauthorization bill passed last year.

-  A national grassroots coalition of the communities affected by the FAA’s NextGen project has begun building, and hopes to draw greater attention to these issues across the country.

-  Congressman Lynch is reintroducing his bill, the Support Air Traffic Noise & Pollution Expert Consensus Act, likely tomorrow.  Rep. Karen Bass, who supported this bill last year, has signed on as an original co-sponsor.  I include the Dear Colleague letter seeking co-sponsors below.  Next we will have to see what we can do about building support and getting it passed.

- The new Dem Chair of the Transportation Committee has expressed to Rep. Bass a willingness to learn more about this issue and consider moving legislation.  That’s a hopeful first step.

Peter Muller in Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office has taken the lead on arranging a meeting for legislative staffers to meet the new FAA Regional Administrator in L.A.

When we have a bit more, we will talk about getting together again, likely in the month of February.


Jacqueline Hamilton, Senior Counsel

Office of Congressmember Karen Bass

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4929 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 650    Los Angeles, CA 90010

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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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