WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, pushed successfully today to advance an initiative that will improve pilot safety and ease training through automation, part of his ongoing efforts to address community concerns about jet noise out of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI). Larsen, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, worked to include this language in the annual defense policy bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Armed Services Committee is marking up the FY2017 bill today, April 27, 2016.
“I am committed to a long-term plan to respond to those in our community who are concerned about jet noise. In partnership with local officials, community members and the Navy, I am working to find ways to mitigate the effects of the noise on communities across the north Puget Sound region. One potential solution is to use technology to increase automation in carrier landings to safely ease the amount of training pilots need. My amendment does just that, and it maintains the momentum of using technology to improve pilot safety and training.
“I remain steadfast in my support for NASWI as a premier Navy asset while finding solutions to reduce the impact of noise on local communities. As part of last year’s defense policy bill, I successfully pushed for the Navy to move forward with technology to reduce engine noise, and testing is ongoing. I am also pursuing funding for an acoustic hangar to reduce noise impact on Lopez Island, and I have asked the Navy to conduct noise monitoring on the San Juans as part of an environmental impact study for the EA-18G Growler. As a result, the base made a change to flight operations to help lessen sound over sections of Lopez Island,” Larsen said.
Larsen’s language expresses the support of the committee for the MAGIC CARPET software package, which is in development, and requires the Navy to report on its progress to advance the software.