When Campbell’s Law Collides With Air Traffic

SEE WHAT I DID THERE? For those who don’t know what Campbell’s Law is:

“The more any quantitative social indicator (or even some qualitative indicator) is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.”

With that, I give you the Federal Aviation Authority (‘FAA’; boldface mine):

Residents near Reagan National Airport [DCA] on both sides of the river say airplane noise is becoming intolerable, and they are asking the government for help. This Wednesday homeowners will sit down with Federal Aviation Administration, airport and airline representatives for a community meeting to vent their complaints….

MWAA said it enforces the noise restriction between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

“When a prohibited aircraft does arrive on the field, which on occasion has occurred, we follow up with that airline. Where we can, where it is proven that they did not comply with the nighttime noise restriction, we do fine them,” said Margaret McKeough, MWAA’s chief operating officer, who said the maximum fine is $5,000.

Ramirez said airlines get around the noise restriction despite a D.C. law prohibiting excessive noise.

Airplanes taking off cannot generate more than 72 decibels of noise after 10 p.m. or before 7 p.m. Though the airplanes have been certified by the FAA that they only generate a mere 71.5 decibels of noise, when you look at the noise monitors and the readings they are generating over 76, 77, 78 decibels,” she said.

You know, the FAA should have been total dicks and claimed the planes only generated 71.999 decibels of noise. If you’re going to be an asshole, be an All-Pro asshole.

By the way, we can thank congresscritters for this: every time an aviation bill comes up for renewal, they add more long-haul flights out of DCA, shifting flight times ever earlier.

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