Airport Noise Pollution: Is There a Solution in Sight?
Airport noise pollution is a widespread and growing problem in the United States. Traditionally the regulation of airport noise was left to state and local regulatory efforts as well as judicial actions brought under nuisance and inverse condemnation theories of liability. With the enactment of several pieces of federal legislation beginning in the 1970s, however, Congress has clarified its intent to preempt local control of airport noise. Local governments and airport proprietors have to comply with a complicated scheme of federal regulation and rely on insufficient funds to fully address the airport noise problem in their communities. This Comment suggests changes should be made to the regulatory framework governing the control of aircraft noise through reestablishment of the Office for Noise Abatement and Control within the Environmental Protection Agency, additional funds for noise mitigation projects, and research on the effects of aircraft noise, as well as a shift in the liability structure for noise violations.