Aviation industry opposes FAA noise rule

Photo credit: Lennard Schubert

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

Quiet Coalition blog readers, and those who are members of anti-aircraft noise groups will likely be taken aback by the following title: “Opposition emerges against FAA’s proposed noise standard requirement for light sport aircraft.” It appears that there is industry opposition against a Federal Aviation Administration rule that would require electric vertical take-off and landing, or eVTOL, aircraft to undergo a more “rigorous and time-consuming” process for certification.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association is against making lighter sport aircraft meet noise certification requirements (under a rule published in July 2023). One reason, according to the Association, is that it would add about 12 to 18 months to the development of the aircraft. While the industry says that the noise test required would take less than an hour, it adds that it will take a great deal of time to set it up. It was estimated that it will take about nine months to prepare for the test. There is also an added cost because the test requires expensive audio equipment. The Association is now working on another standard for certification.  

When asked about the need for extra certification, the FAA responded that it’s an opportunity to “recognize and address” the noise created by non-type certificated aircraft. In setting forth this requirement, the FAA said it “acknowledges that noise certification is part of its overall certification scheme for aircraft.”  

The fact that aviation manufacturers are opposing the FAA as it tries to impose a more rigorous process for noise impacts is not surprising. The question is, will the FAA hold its ground and not succumb to the Association’s pressure?                           

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