Queens residents living around the borough’s two airports may not have to suffer through the same kind of noise they have in the past for much longer, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week directing the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to launch a multifaceted approach to addressing the issue that has long plagued area denizens.
As part of the governor’s request, the Port Authority will also be stepping up the review of noise data with the Federal Aviation Administration.
The agency has said its overall goal is to address noise concerns while supporting growth at JFK International and LaGuardia airports, which annually generation billions of dollars in economic activity and wages and support hundreds of thousands of regional jobs.
“Airport noise is rightly an important concern for residents of Queens, the Bronx, and Nassau County, and that is why I am directing the Port Authority to open a full and thorough dialogue with the impacted communities while also pursuing a noise study to better address the issue,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We will listen to local residents and ensure their input is used to make both JFK and LaGuardia airports better neighbors.”
The initiative to mitigate noise includes the Port Authority commencing community roundtables with FAA officials and community representatives in April for both airports. The gatherings will also include elected officials and will be held on a regularly scheduled basis.
From the Times Ledger:
Washington has given the Port Authority the go-ahead on a plan to rehabilitate a runway at JFK Airport, but those in adjacent neighborhoods opposed to the construction said they intend to appeal the decision.
The Federal Aviation Administration told the Port Authority March 10 it found no significant environmental impact from the agency’s plan to widen and extend runway 4L/22R 728 feet closer toward Idlewild Park in order to build federally mandated safety zones at either end of the tarmac.
“Given your desire to implement this project in the very near future,” the FAA wrote, the Port Authority should make a public notice of the decision “as soon as possible.”
The PA, which is planning to begin construction next month and wrap up near the end of 2015, published a notice in a Queens weekly newspaper last week of the FAA’s decision and a link to the website where it will be available until mid-May.
Barbara Brown, chairwoman of the environmental-steward group Eastern Queens Alliance, has been skeptical of the proposal since its inception. In an area that has long been beleaguered by low-flying planes, she said, even a slight increase in airport noise has to be taken in context.
“They say their model shows it’s not a significant impact, but in a community already overburdened by noise, to say a little bit more is not going to impact you doesn’t make any sense,” she said. “We are not happy with the decision. We have 60 days from March 14 to file an appeal and we’re really going to be moving in that direction.”