Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Airplane noise is bad, but could be worse

An older flight map (l.) shows Flushing Airport just west of LaGuardia Airport, and its reserved airspace extending farther west over Queens. A later map shows the same airspace without Flushing Airport. Maps courtesy FAA
From the Times Ledger:

Many northeast Queens neighborhoods have complained recently about increased aircraft noise, but it could be worse.

Airspace regulations for a long-shuttered borough airstrip are actually keeping planes from flying closer to residential rooftops over parts of Whitestone, north Flushing, Bay Terrace, Douglaston and Little Neck, according to flight maps.

These maps are used by pilots to show where they can and cannot fly, and one place off limits to commercial aircraft leaving LaGuardia Airport is called the Flushing Exclusion Zone, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

This zone stretches from the site of the shuttered Flushing Airport — in-between Whitestone and College Point just west of the Whitestone Expressway — across the top portion of Queens. Over the areas of Whitestone and north Flushing, aircraft must stay above 1,200 feet, while above parts of Bay Terrace and northern Bayside, they must stay above 1,500 feet, according to the FAA and flight maps.

If the Flushing Exclusion Zone did not exist, the FAA would have the ability to fly aircraft as low as it wanted in these areas, although officials from the agency said at a recent meeting that they never route a plane lower than 1,000 feet above residential blocks.

The exclusion zone was created in the 1970s when airspace regulations were modified, according to the FAA, although Flushing Airport had been open since 1927.

The corridor was created as a pathway for smaller planes to get access to the airport through airspace normally used by larger commercial jets traveling to and from LaGuardia, the FAA said.


Alan Gross said...

The Bloomcrap administration decommissioned Flushing Airport about a decade ago as I was developing plans to create a blimpport on the site. Therefore, the Flushing Exclusion Zone might eventually be lost.

I was waiting for the NYC EDC to issue an RFP for the property's development. Originally, a 6 month response time was to be allowed but that was reduced to 8 weeks AND the EDC failed to notify me when the RFP was released.

However, Herr Bloomcrap decided it would not be economically feasible even though he never reviewed the financial data I was going to offer in the RFP response I planned to submit. The fatal mistake I probably made was not greasing the right palms! I learned that community support wasn't enough when dealing with this administration (unless it coincided with the EDC's agenda). I posted this YouTube video of the mayor's comments:

The blimpport proposal was the only plan that would have preserved the property as an active aviation facility. If the exclusion is eliminated, you know who you can thank!!!

Jerry Rotondi said...

Besides Mayor Bloomberg--
I believe that we can also thank ex-borough president Claire Shulman for nixing the blimp port too.

Alan--am I correct on that?

Alen said...

the engines are a lot better now. i used to live on 108st and the planes would fly right over our building every few minutes. they were so loud that even with the TV all the way up you couldn't hear.

at least in FH, they aren't as loud anymore. for everyone else, don't choose to live near so close to an airport.

Alan Gross said...

Jerry Rotondi said...
Besides Mayor Bloomberg--
I believe that we can also thank ex-borough president Claire Shulman for nixing the blimp port too.

Alan--am I correct on that?
You are absolutely correct, Jerry. I went to a Queens Borough budget meeting to advocate for the plan. It took me several weeks to prepare my materials. I was the first to arrive at Borough Hall and signed in to speak. However, the agenda was pre-planned and I had to wait two hours before I was called upon to speak. It was at that point that Shulman stood up and walked out of the hearing. How rude!

Community Board #7 and various other governmental and non-governmental entities were very supportive. I was encouraged to continue even though the odds were stacked against me. As many of you may recall, Bloomcrap eventually selected a warehousing/wholesale operation. The community held several rallies and defeated the proposal.

Anonymous said...

Someone once told me that when the city closed Flushing Airport, it allowed for development in and around College Point. If the choice were mine, I would've preferred the small planes, helicopters, and blimps to what we have now...overcongestion and traffic jams in College Point and north Flushing.

Anonymous said...

Closing Flushing Airport was just one element of a nasty plan to establish an Asian "beach head" in the drive out the darker "people of color"...who might drive down the value of local real estate.

If "THEY" were allowed to proliferate and spread out, from their bases in the Bland and Latimer projects... "THEY" could ruin many a property investment...
among Flushing's old time "BIG BOYS" (Kent Realty, Schwartz, Mehran, etc.).

AND DATS DA REAL TRUTH...if anyone chooses to look beyond their nose!

This "cleverly" hatched plan was pure RACISM in its RAWEST form...although it went (and still goes on) relatively unnoticed. Certainly, there will be (expected) denials of this sordid scenario by pols and trolls.

that bucked that original plan was dismissed as the blimp port...or smashed like the RKO Keith's theater by boro hall.

The Flushing Phantom said...

Never mind the noise. Think about the toxic down drift.
Over flights of these big jets bring Asthma and worse!

Anonymous said...

The "NextGen" CDA which has aircraft approaching the airport with their engines at idle, should never have been implemented without an environmental impact report. As bad as the noise is... the pollution may be worse.

A study published in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Journal, and conducted by scientists at Carnegie Mellon University found:

"When the jet operated at full power the emissions were composed of mainly solid particles, however when it idled on the runway they took on a different form – microscopic droplets. The magnitude and composition of these emissions strongly depend on engine load, with much higher emissions at low engine loads, the study said. However when the exhaust was exposed to sunlight in a smog-chamber a chemical reaction took place that saw the formation of toxic particles from the interaction between the oil and gases. It was found that sunlight can generate 35 times more particles than were originally emitted from the jet's engine and 10 times what had typically been predicted. These particles can include compounds such as benzene and toluene, which are known to impact health."

An article, including a link to the study, can be found here: