In Case You Missed It: CAA Spokesperson Dispels Increased Noise Level Myth In Letter To The Editor In The Washington Post

In case you missed it, Capital Access Alliance spokesperson Brian Walsh published a letter to the editor (LTE) in The Washington Post dispelling the myth that additional flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) will impact noise levels around the airport.

Walsh highlights a recent study conducted by one of the nation’s top management consulting firms which found that even though travel by narrow-body aircraft has increased at DCA over the past decade, noise levels have not due to advancements in engine technology which make today’s planes quieter than previous generations.

Walsh writes that DCA’s noise levels are not what is harming the national capital region. Instead, the outdated perimeter rule, which artificially restricts long-distance travel, has resulted in DCA having the highest carbon footprint per passenger and highest domestic ticket prices of all top metropolitan airports.

Read the entire piece HERE and below:

Airplane Noise Won’t Get Worse With More Flights At National
The Washington Post
Brian Walsh    
August 13, 2023

As the spokesman for the national coalition – Capital Access Alliance – that is urging Congress to modernize the antiquated perimeter rule governing flights to and from Reagan National Airport and a resident of Northern Virginia, I read with interest the Aug. 7 news article “At airports, volume is up on noise complaints.”

A recent study by one of the country’s top management consulting companies made clear that even as the number of narrow-body aircraft at National has increased over the past 10 years, the average noise level has not. This is because of continued advances in aircraft engine technology that have made new aircraft significantly quieter than previous generations.

This study further confirms the quote in the article from the Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport spokesman: “We are not aware of significant airspace changes in the past few years that would impact the number of callers.” This undercuts claims by a small group of residents that noise has somehow increased. It has not.

However, that’s not to say National’s operations aren’t harming our region. In fact, because of the outdated perimeter rule, which artificially restricts long-distance air travel, National has the distinction of having the highest carbon footprint per passenger of all top metropolitan airports, and the region has the highest domestic ticket prices among all top airports in the country. Perhaps those are complaint categories the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority should start tracking.


About CAA

CAA consists of diverse members from around the country and various industries, including transportation, general business groups, the small business sector, entrepreneurs and job creators, organizations focused on economic development and leaders in the civic and policy communities. 

Learn more about Capital Access Alliance HERE.