Arlington and Montgomery County Joint Aircraft Noise Study

Arlington and Montgomery County Joint Aircraft Noise Study

Arlington County, Virginia and Montgomery County, Maryland have jointly released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for consulting services in support of a study of aircraft noise proximate to Reagan National Airport.

The two jurisdictions will jointly hire a consultant for a study of aircraft noise, and recommendations for improvement.

Arlington has allocated $125,000 for the work described in the Scope of Services, matched by an equal allocation by Montgomery, for a total budget of $250,000.

From the RFP:

The purpose is to: analyze existing aircraft noise and operations data to enable understanding by the public; inform efforts by policymakers to reduce noise impacts; and to identify, evaluate and propose mitigations to reduce impacts on residents of Arlington County, Montgomery County, and other communities north of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

The contractor will provide Arlington and Montgomery elected officials, staff, and representatives on the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) DCA Community Working Group (CWG) with technical resources to better understand the nature of airspace management and possible alternatives and assist with coordination and broader community outreach among surrounding jurisdictions, MWAA, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The Aircraft Noise Abatement and Mitigation Study is to be completed within 12 months from the date of the execution of the contract and ongoing support services from the date of the execution of the Contract for a period of up to two years following completion of the Study. The selected Contractor will be entering into an agreement with Arlington County, Virginia. The requested services have been agreed to by Arlington and Montgomery through a Public Entity Contract

Since October 2015, Arlington has participated in the DCA Community Working Group as the venue for a regional discussion on aircraft noise impacts and solutions. The Community Working Group has a North of Airport committee composed of members from Arlington, Montgomery, and the District of Columbia. The DCA Community Working Group activities mirror those supported by the FAA and being undertaken across the country in other metropolitan areas seeking to address community impacts. Despite the creation of this group, and the deliberations it has hosted, there remains a lack of data-driven understanding of what has caused the increased noise impacts and what can be done to address them.

Many jurisdictions around the region have grown frustrated with the pace and process of the Community Working Group and the perceived lack of responsiveness from MWAA and the FAA.

Participation in the Community Working Group remains robust as no other regional venue exists to address aircraft noise issues. A group of residents in Northwest Washington unsuccessfully sued the FAA over the new DCA flight procedures, and the State of Maryland has an active lawsuit against the FAA. Arlington and Montgomery, with their common interests north of the airport, have elected to fund and initiate their own joint analysis and related tasks through this RFP.

The Counties aim through this RFP to take a holistic approach to procedure design, reducing aircraft noise where possible, and equitably sharing the impacts where necessary.