Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO: (1) described the specific noise abatement procedures at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport; (2) determined whether the airlines comply with these procedures; and (3) assessed whether local citizen groups believe that existing noise abatement procedures and penalties are effective.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority||1. To ensure that airlines operating at Reagan National during nighttime hours do so in compliance with the local nighttime noise rule, the President/Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, should commit to a schedule of randomly verifying that arriving and departing aircraft are being operated in a manner consistent with the terms of legally binding agreements that some airlines have reached with MWAA and FAA.|
|Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority||2. The President/Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, should study the relative benefits and costs of procuring a more technologically advanced noise-monitoring system.|
|Federal Aviation Administration||3. To improve oversight of the federal slot rule, particularly in light of the addition of 24 flights at Reagan National, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to: (1) develop a reliable method (including definitions and procedures) for consistently determining whether airlines are complying with the federal slot rule; and (2) maintain a system of records of the violations identified and FAA's disposition of them in a form that will enable FAA to evaluate its overall monitoring and enforcement effort.|