FAA Reauthorization Bill Includes Noise and Other Important Provisions Advocated for by Rep. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) recently advanced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, which includes Representative Adam Smith’s legislation, the Protecting Airport Communities from Particle Emissions Act, important aviation noise provisions, and a provision to protect North SeaTac Park in Washington’s Ninth District.
Earlier this year, Rep. Smith shared his priorities for the FAA reauthorization with the House T&I Committee. In his testimony, he pushed for policies to more effectively address the environmental, health, and quality of life concerns of aviation impacted communities.
Local leaders are celebrating the announcement as an important step forward in the efforts to understand and address the impacts of aviation noise and pollution and enhance community engagement between the FAA and residents in aviation-impacted communities.
See below for statements of support from local leaders, organizations, and governments.
“Washingtonians who live and work in and around the SeaTac Airport area, which is in my district, have long been affected by the adverse effects of aircraft noise and emissions. The inclusion of these priorities in the FAA Reauthorization bill is a testament to the power of our collective voice. The work of our U.S. lawmakers in this legislation amplifies our efforts to address the health impacts our communities face, as well as our advances in preserving a clean, green environment for future generations.” – Washington State Representative Tina Orwall (D-Des Moines)
“Sea-Tac Airport brings huge benefits to our whole region’s economy, but the negative impacts of airport operations are almost all felt right here in our local airport communities that bear the burden of air and noise pollution. We need to make sure that all levels of government – federal, state, and local – are looking out for the needs of the people living in airport impacted communities. Including these important provisions in the FAA’s reauthorization is an important step to protecting and helping the folks who are hurt the most by that air and noise pollution.” – Washington State Senator Karen Keiser
“On behalf of the Port of Seattle, we are grateful to Senator Cantwell and Representative Smith for their successful efforts to include this significant provision in the House and Senate versions of the 2023 FAA Reauthorization Act. This legislation will provide the flexibility needed for the Port to work with the FAA, the City of SeaTac, and the community to address our neighbors’ need for open space, while also meeting our environmental priorities and the region’s aviation needs.” – Port of Seattle Commissioners Hamdi Mohamed and Fred Felleman
“We thank Rep. Adam Smith for submitting the Protecting Airport Communities from Particle Emissions Act (UFP Study). We are deeply concerned about the multiple lifelong health challenges premies (pre-term births) will have and the emotional and financial toll on their families.  Fact: The 2020 Los Angeles study established that emissions from aircraft play an etiologic role in pre-mature births.  Fact: the risk of preterm births (PTBs) is higher among pregnant women exposed to air pollution and even higher for women of color, and immigrant and refugee women. In King County WA, mothers are more likely to have preterm births when they live 1 mile from SeaTac Airport at 10%, within 1-5 miles at 9%, and within 5-10 miles at 8% as compared to the rest of King County premature birth rate of 7%.  We needed to get the ultrafine particle study done yesterday.” – Maria Batayola, Chair of Beacon Hill Council
“North SeaTac Park is an essential community asset to both SeaTac and surrounding communities. This 220-acre park improves fresh air, reduces noise, and provides a healthy space for community connection. I am grateful for Rep. Adam Smith’s leadership in providing a path for preservation of this open space for generations to come.” – City of SeaTac Deputy Mayor Senayet Negusse
“North SeaTac Park is a heavily used regional recreational greenspace that is a true jewel of South King County. I’m grateful for Representative Adam Smith’s strong partnership and collaboration with the City of SeaTac to permanently protect the park, its trees and wildlife as a community treasure for generations to come.” – SeaTac Councilmember Peter Kwon
“Defenders of North SeaTac Park, which calls for the preservation of parkland and urban forest within and surrounding North SeaTac Park, applauds the elegant solution that Representative Smith and his staff have crafted to expand options for protecting this park. His proposed change to the law would open a pathway for the Port of Seattle and City of SeaTac to permanently protect all 200+ acres of this park, including those areas we believe are most at risk for near-term development: Tub Lake bog, Pat Ryan Memorial Field, the only dedicated rugby pitch in the area, and an extensive network of forested walking and mountain biking trails used by thousands of people locally and from across the region. As authors and signers of the Defender's petition, signed by nearly 3,300 community members, we thank Representative Smith, as well as City of SeaTac and Port of Seattle officials, for responding to our collective call to protect resources in our community that provide a critical buffer from the impacts of SeaTac Airport on our health and well-being.” – Defenders of North SeaTac Park
“Thank you, Congressman Smith! The new science is consistently showing that airport noise and pollution is causing significant public health harm to airport communities. However, government and industry action is lagging behind. Congressman Smith’s three new bills lay the groundwork for leveling the playing field against resistant regulators and industry, by creating sensible policy to address the risks to public health from airport operations.” – Sheila Brush, Chair of Quiet Skies Puget Sound
“The UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences has been a national leader in identifying, differentiating and mapping Ultrafine Particle emissions from aviation sources. I am honored to have been involved as an advisory board member with the many phases of this UW UFP MOV-UP (Mobile Observations of Ultrafine Particles) research. There is still much to learn and finding extremely poor health outcomes in residents living around Sea-Tac Airport in a 2020 King County community health profile makes it even more urgent to continue this type of research. I am grateful to congressman Smith for putting forward a bill that will aid in this pursuit. I look forward to continued research into relationships between noise and emissions from aviation sources and these alarming poor health outcomes.” – Debi Wagner, Chair of Quiet Skies Coalition
“This bill rightfully leverages the science we now possess about the human health harms from ultrafine particles, into targeted action. This is an urgent matter.  Requiring the FAA to conduct further studies of aviation-generated UFPs to assess adverse health effects – particularly for vulnerable groups – is exactly the right legislation and the right time. The bill also nails the need to study the effectiveness of mitigation measures – it is critical to understand whether current standards and strategies, utilizing decades-old science and technologies, have any potential to resolve UFP exposure harms. Thank you, Congressman Smith!” – Steve Edmiston, Sea-Tac Airport Neighbor & Community Resident
“The Protecting Airport Communities from Particle Emissions Act is an important step in mitigating adverse health impacts on airport adjacent communities and helps to ensure that institutions can work together to build healthier communities. Communities who live adjacent and near the airports have the right to their well-being and this is an opportunity for institutions and government to help us reach that goal. It is important for me to know what harmful impacts are present, and how aircraft and airport operations are reducing their emissions because I live under a flight path, with a family member who has a chronic health condition and is immunocompromised. These compounding factors can certainly impact our lives.” – Sameth Mell, Aviation Community Activist
“The reauthorization bills for the FAA are for airport communities, and especially for kids like my precious 4-year-old son Kai, one of the nation’s youngest airport communities activists.  We are fighting for our lives.  Please support these bills!” – Kent Palosaari, Aviation Community Activist

Read the statement Rep. Smith released after the House T&I Committee advanced the FAA reauthorization bill here.
More information about Rep. Smith’s testimony to the House T&I Committee can be found here. The full testimony can be read here.
Passage of the FAA reauthorization bill in the House T&I Committee is just one step in the process to advance the bill to the House floor for consideration. Following passage in the House, differences must be reconciled with the Senate’s FAA reauthorization bill.