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H.R. 4171 (114th): Silent Skies Act of 2015

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 3, 2015.

Silent Skies Act of 2015

This bill directs the Federal Aviation Administration to enter into a competitive cooperative agreement with an institution, entity, or consortium to carry out a program for the development of aircraft technology that will assist in-service and in-production civil turbojets not meeting stage 4 noise standards to comply with those or more stringent standards.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) must: (1) issue regulations to establish minimum standards to ensure that graduated percentages of civil turbojets weighing over 75,000 pounds comply with the stage 4 noise levels by specified dates, and (2) report annually on the progress made by air carriers in complying with such standards. 100% of such turbojets operating after December 31, 2037, must comply with stage 4 levels.

DOT shall request the International Civil Aviation Organization to add to its Work Programme the consideration of international standards for the phase-out of aircraft that do not comply with stage 4 noise levels.

The requirements of this Act shall not apply to civil turbojet aircraft that operate outside of the 48 contiguous states.

DOT may not issue a type certificate for: (1) a civil turbojet with a maximum weight of more than 75,000 pounds on and after December 31, 2017, unless the applicant demonstrates that such turbojet complies with stage 5 noise levels; and (2) any civil turbojet on and after December 31, 2020, unless the applicant demonstrates that such turbojet complies with stage 5 noise levels.