U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today announced he secured language in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill to fund the redevelopment of noise mitigation land near airports.  The provision provides an opportunity for partnerships like the City of Burien and the Port of Seattle to apply for up to $5 million in funds to develop buffer zones near the port’s third runway. 

“Noise buffer land near airports can provide important economic development opportunities for both nearby communities and airports.  The pilot projects we fund in this bill will support these ‘win-win’ partnerships and help them coordinate more effectively,” Smith said.

The provision Smith secured would expand the current eligible uses of noise mitigation funds or passenger facility charge funds to allow for redevelopment of land next to airports.  The provision directs the FAA to fund four pilot projects run by a partnership between airports and local communities at a maximum of $5 million per pilot program.  The federal share of project costs will be capped at 80 percent.

The bill including the pilot project provision, H.R. 2881, passed the House of Representatives today by a vote of 267 to 151.  The bill must now be passed by the Senate and a conference report agreed to by both Houses of Congress before the President can sign it into law.