MILTON − U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) has refiled a bill which would require a study of health effects of airplanes flying over residential areas.
The bill, introduced Tuesday, would require the Federal Aviation Administration to sponsor an Expert Consensus Report issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The reports examine scientific and technological issues of national importance, and the bill calls for this one would be done by a committee of health and environmental science experts.
“There is a clear demand from our constituents that we look into the impacts of flight paths across the country,” Lynch said in a statement. “It is imperative that we understand and remedy any health effects caused by aircraft flying over residential areas, and the burden is on the FAA to produce this information.”
The bill has 18 co-sponsors, all of them Democrats.
He notes the number of airplane noise complaints to federal and regional transportation authorities have increased since the FAA implemented its GPS-based “Next Generation” navigation system which as resulted in planes following narrow flight paths in and out of airports. Massport, which operates Logan Airport, logged 71,000 noise complaints in 2018 from 83 communities, an increase of 20 percent over 2017 and nearly double the 2016 number. Many of the complaints came from Milton, Hull, Hingham and Boston.
Lynch serves as the co-chair of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus and he sits on the aviation subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Cindy Christiansen, Milton’s representative to the Massport Citizens Advisory Committee, said the number of co-sponsors is a good sign of its likelihood for passage.
“We have more momentum this time,” she said.