“New Yorkers deserve a responsive FAA that works for them and is not held captive by the industries it regulates,” Schumer and Gillibrand wrote.
By Forum Staff
Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (both D-N.Y.) on Friday called on President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as the next administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, Steve Dickson, to commit to addressing the problem of overhead aircraft noise in New York.
Empire State residents, particularly in areas of Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties, suffer year-round from excessive noise caused by helicopter and airplane traffic, Schumer and Gillibrand noted in a letter to Dickson. The problem becomes markedly worse with the increase of air traffic during the summer months. Residents of the East End of Long Island have been waiting for months for the FAA to respond to public comments urging changes to the North Shore Helicopter Route.
“Before we will consider any new nominee to head the FAA, we need to hear from the nominee about what will be done to address the high levels of airplane and helicopter noise that challenge so many communities in Long Island, Queens, the Bronx and elsewhere,” Schumer said.
Last month, the FAA announced it will postpone the implementation of two flight-pattern changes intended to reduce noise over Nassau County from flights going in and out of John F. Kennedy International Airport. The FAA administrator is responsible for oversight on this issue and, in their missive to Dickson, Schumer and Gillibrand raised the concerns of Queens and Long Island residents who suffer from excessive aircraft noise over their communities. They also urged Dickson to make addressing aircraft noise a priority prior to the Senate considering his nomination.
“Our constituents in Queens and Nassau County also continue to experience excessive noise from aircraft overflights. For years, the FAA has failed to adequately address the concerns raised by these communities and provide for real noise mitigation that improves their quality of life. We have repeatedly heard complaints from community groups that the FAA feels inaccessible to them,” the senators wrote.
Among myriad concerns, Schumer and Gillibrand urged the next FAA administrator commit to improving communication between the agency and noise-affected communities.
“New Yorkers deserve a responsive FAA that works for them and is not held captive by the industries it regulates. To that end, ensuring your commitment to the wellbeing of our constituents, whose quality of life has been impacted for too long by excessive aircraft noise, is extremely important to us,” New York’s senators wrote in the conclusion to the letter to Dickson.
“Residents of Long Island and Queens have long suffered through unacceptable levels of helicopter and airplane noise, and this problem gets markedly worse during the summer. Even though last year’s FAA Reauthorization bill included my provisions to address this noise pollution, the FAA has yet to follow through and take any substantive actions to actually reduce aircraft noise,” Gillibrand added on Friday. “Before the Senate votes on the next FAA administrator, I am calling on the nominee to show leadership on this issue and fully commit to addressing the concerns of New Yorkers. Excessive airplane and helicopter noise harm the quality of life in our communities, and it’s past time the FAA gives our communities the relief they deserve.”