Norton Questions Officials at Committee Hearing on Airplane Noise and Minority- and Women-Owned Small Businesses Participation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, co-chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus and a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, continued her efforts to reduce airplane noise in the District of Columbia and across the country at a committee hearing yesterday. She asked Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport CEO Sean Donohue about that airport’s efforts to address airplane noise in order to see if some of those reforms can be applied to airports like Ronald Reagan National Airport. Donahue said that Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the 10th busiest airport in the world, made an operational decision to close outward runways from 11:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. and to redirect flights to take off from inward runways. He explained that the airport has flexibility because of seven runways available and over 17,000 square miles of space. As a result, Norton is seeking information from Regan National Airport regarding the possibility of such an arrangement.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Norton also asked Donohue and Lance Lyttle, Managing Director of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, about implementation of programs to provide opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises. She believes that bundling of small business contracts may have an adverse effect.

“I was pleased to hear from Dallas/Forth Worth of operational changes that have addressed the concerns of residents living nearby suffering from almost constant airplane noise,” said Norton. “Ronald Reagan National Airport may be significantly different than Dallas/Fort Worth, but I will bring that airport’s 11:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. curfew to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) to see if the same could be applied here. Dallas/Fort Worth also has a strong commitment of outreach to minority- and women-owned small businesses. That airport does not bundle contracts, which, of course, works against minority- and women-owned small businesses. I will be seeking info from MWAA on whether bundling of small business contracts is a practice used in this region.”

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