At its January meeting, the Cabin John Citizens Association unanimously voted to support the Montgomery County Quiet Skies Coalition. This new group is bringing together more than a dozen Montgomery County communities to advocate for comprehensive solutions to mitigate airplane noise in our neighborhoods.
The coalition, which has been drawing up to 50 participants at its monthly meetings, has formed committees to focus on communications and outreach, research and information gathering, legislative initiatives and activism along with a group looking at how best to structure the coalition.
Cabin John was well represented at the Feb. 6 coalition meeting, with six residents attending and Gretchen Gaston presenting a status report on several legislative actions. The coalition is urging Montgomery County residents to tell their elected officials how untenable the situation has become and to ask for their help. Excessive airplane noise and the FAA’s implementation of NextGen technology without consideration of the communities under the flight paths near major airports is a national problem. The DC area is behind the curve in voicing its distress.
Here are some ways Cabin Johners can communicate their frustrations and concerns regarding the excessive airplane noise from the arrivals and departures out of Reagan National Airport (DCA).
Keep filing complaints using the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority’s (MWAA) DCA Noise Complaint Form. Try to be as specific as you can — time of day/night,whether the plane is in-bound or out-bound and what was disrupted, a walk, sleep, conversation — when you complete the easy-to-fill out form. (It takes three minutes at most.) This is the most quantifiable way for our elected officials to understand that the noise is real.
Write a letter to support the Reagan National Community Noise Working Group’s 6-point Plan The community representatives of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Working Group (the group created to represent community concerns and recommend aircraft noise solutions to the FAA) recently submitted a plan to the airport authority that contains several provisions that would greatly benefit communities under the current flight paths. Among other things, the plan calls on the FAA to:
- move navigation waypoints away from communities
- increase departure altitudes
- implement a runway rotation plan to scatter departure noise more equitably
- review approach procedures to determine changes necessary to reduce noise
- conduct area-wide noise assessment studies
- implement a 24/7 Fly Quiet Program
- promote more traffic in and out of Washington Dulles
The Maryland members of the airport authority as well as well as elected officials at the county, state and national level need to hear from constituents that their support of this plans is expected and appreciated. For a list of elected officials’ email addresses and a sample letter, please go to the Montgomery County Quite Skies Coalition website.
By Susan Shipp