Senator Collins Receives Firm Commitment from FAA to Address Portland Jetport Noise

Senator Collins raised concerns expressed by South Portland residents and Portland Jetport management directly to FAA officials

In 2018, residents of the Portland area filed 1,406 noise complaints regarding airport noise at PWM, which was a three-fold increase from the number of noise complaints in 2016.  


Click HERE to watch Senator Collins’ Q&A on Portland Jetport. 

Click HERE to download high-resolution video.


Washington, D.C.—At a Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to provide oversight of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), the Chairman of the Subcommittee, secured a commitment that the FAA will help the Portland Jetport address the noise problem affecting some residents of South Portland.


In daylight hours, most aircraft landing at the Portland Jetport can use a visual approach to fly over Casco Bay and the Fore River rather than neighborhoods.  At night when they cannot rely on sight, however, the planes fly directly over the City of South Portland. 


Earlier this year, a group of South Portland residents informed Senator Collins’ office of the disruptive noise caused by airplanes, which some described as sounding like a freight train shaking their homes.  They have also brought their concerns directly to the Portland Jetport, which has proposed a Required Navigation Performance (RNP) to encourage flights to use the route over the water.


“I am hearing a lot of complaints from my constituents in South Portland about increased noise from aircraft landing above their homes at night, often just 600 to 1,000 feet above their homes,” said Senator Collins.  “I'm seeking a commitment to take a hard look at this and to consider working with the Portland Jetport to get the [Required Navigational Performance] approach approved as quickly as possible, or if that's not the right answer, to help us come up with the right answer to deal with this noise problem for the residents of South Portland.”


“Senator, I’m glad to make that commitment,” Carl Burleson, the Acting Deputy Administrator of the FAA, responded.  “[W]e recognize aircraft noise can be a considerable problem with local communities. We certainly are taking a lot of steps nationally—increasing technology, insertion into the fleets, better community roundtables—trying to take advantage of some of the NextGen technologies to reduce noise. So again, I'm glad to commit to work with the roundtable to see what might be possible.”


“You have a lot of expertise in this area and I very much appreciate your commitment to work with the community and with the Jetport,” replied Senator Collins.