Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks on Arrival at New York City on Noise Standards for Commercial Aircraft

October 21, 1976

I do have a short statement that I would like to read.

I am delighted to be here with Senator Buckley, and Congressman Wydler, and Congressman Lent.

Let me proceed.

As you can see, Kennedy International Airport is one of the Nation's finest airports. As you can hear, Kennedy is also one of the Nation's noisiest airports. It is one of the 26 major U.S. airports that have serious noise pollution problems.

Seven years ago, the Nation decided to cut in half the decided noise of jet aircraft. For the last 2 years, all new jet planes have met these standards. The biggest part of the airport noise problem, here at Kennedy and elsewhere, is caused by 1,550 older planes which fail to meet--and are not now required to meet--proper noise standards.

Therefore, today, I am instructing the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, to extend current noise standards to all domestic U.S. commercial aircraft.1 These standards will become effective January 1, 1977, and will be phased in over the next 8 years.

We will also begin immediately the necessary steps to make certain that all international airlines flying into the United States meet these standards. You understand what I mean.

One reason U.S. commercial airlines have been unable to meet FAA noise standards is that some airlines could not afford to, because of the outmoded regulatory approach of the Civil Aeronautics Board.

A year ago, I proposed aviation regulatory reform to make airline service more competitive and thereby improve service to passengers, reduce fares, and strengthen the financial condition of the airlines. Congress refused to pass that legislation, which would have made it possible for the airlines to modify or to replace their noisy jet aircraft.

I am now putting Congress on notice that I will not accept its failure to act. I want the Members of Congress to know that aviation regulatory reform will be on their doorstep when they convene in January 1977.

In the interest of the airline passenger and the airline industry, it is imperative that Congress act on this reform within 90 days after the opening of the next session of the Congress.

I am also directing Secretary of Transportation Coleman to begin public hearings promptly to consider whether further financing arrangements may be necessary to ensure that all U.S. air carriers can meet the noise standards on time.

Solving the airport noise problem is an environmental imperative for the millions of Americans, estimated at about 6 million throughout the country, who live in the neighborhoods around our major airports.

With the steps I am announcing today, we will be able to quiet our Nation's skies, conserve vast amounts of energy, and improve the quality of life for many millions of Americans.
Thank you very much.

REPORTER. Mr. President, does this mean the SST would be in any way excluded, if it is not now, from flying into this airport?

THE PRESIDENT. All airports where an SST would land will have to meet the noise standards prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation and by the FAA.

Q. You said they would be phased in over a period of 8 years, sir. What does that mean? Let's say in January, will any of these old planes be able to meet these standards by January or would the SST conceivably be?

THE PRESIDENT. We put the noise standards in as of January 1, and there is a mandatory requirement that all new commercial aircraft must meet the standards as they are now. But in addition, we will provide through regulatory reform the financing necessary so that the airlines will be able to procure more new aircraft faster that meet the newly imposed noise standards.

1 See Item 941.

Note: The President spoke at 4:31 p.m. at Kennedy International Airport. In his opening remarks, he referred to Senator James L. Buckley and Representatives John W. Wydler and Norman F. Lent of New York.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks on Arrival at New York City on Noise Standards for Commercial Aircraft Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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