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.
“Catalyzed by Gov. Cuomo’s directive to the Port Authority on this issue, the Port Authority has taken big steps in addressing noise surrounding our airports,” Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye said. “We are committed to working with all communities we operate in to address their concerns, while bringing JFK and LaGuardia airports into the 21s century and maintaining the viability of our airports as major economic engines for the metropolitan region.”
The governor said there will also be the implementation of the Federal Airport Noise Compatibility Planning Part 150 Study, for which the Port Authority will hire an experienced aircraft noise consulting firm to assist it with the study that will evaluate ways to better mitigate the problems surrounding JFK and LaGuardia.
The Port Authority said it is also committed to doubling the existing portable noise monitors that collect data over flight paths for Queens’ two airports. This will allow placement in communities currently without monitors.
In its battle against noise, the Port Authority has streamlined its noise complaint hotline system at (800) 225-1071, making it easier for residents to lodge specific complaints. And, residents near JFK and LaGuardia can now track planes and flight patterns on the Port Authority’s new WebTrak system, which provides graphics, identifying aircraft, decibel noise levels, altitudes, airspace location, and origin and destination airports – which the governor’s office said will help residents better identify which planes and aircraft patterns are causing problems. WebTrak is accessible at http://webtrak.bksv.com/panynj
The public may also file noise complaints at http://www.planenoise.com/
By Anna Gustafson