A coalition of aviation stakeholders is urging the leadership of the US Senate Commerce Committee to refrain from attaching additional amendments regulating aircraft noise to the chamber’s version of the FAA reauthorization bill.

Leaders in the Senate are working through amendment proposals before the full chamber takes up the bill as early as next week.

Airlines for America (A4A), the Air Line Pilots Association and six other industry groups wrote in a July 26 letter to the leaders and ranking members of the Senate Commerce Committee and Aviation Subcommittee that: “While appreciating that aircraft noise exposure is an issue in certain communities, US aviation has achieved tremendous noise reductions and the aviation industry remains committed to further advancements.”

The number of people exposed to “significant levels” of aircraft noise in the US has dropped by 94% since the late 1970s, even as enplanements have more than quadrupled, the group wrote, adding that noise exposure decreased by 53% between 2000 and 2016, while enplanements rose 22% during the same period.

In addition, new aircraft noise certification standards are currently being implemented, and the aviation industry is working with the FAA on advancing aircraft noise reduction through the “Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise” (CLEEN) program. Against this backdrop, aircraft-related noise proposals included in the Senate’s FAA reauthorization bill, while “arguably not necessary, are more than sufficient to augment the rigorous noise assessment and mitigation statutes,” the group added.

An A4A spokeswoman told ATW that given the industry’s record of aircraft noise reduction, as well as current initiatives and the “rigorous web of aircraft noise management already provided for in US law”—including in the Senate’s FAA reauthorization bill—A4A does not believe additional noise mandates are “necessary or advisable.” She also expressed concern that “some of the amendment concepts that have been floated would undermine the wide range of safety and environmental benefits associated with the effort to modernize the nation’s air traffic control system ... and the stability of the national airspace system.”

The House passed H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act, in late April on a 393-13 vote. The Senate needs to pass its version of the bill this summer before an Oct. 1 deadline. Congress has not enacted a long-term FAA reauthorization bill since 2012, instead relying on short-term extensions and continuing resolutions to authorize the agency’s operations.

Ben Goldstein, Ben.Goldstein@aviationweek.com