BY JOE MARVILLI
After years of struggling with jet engines roaring above their heads, Queens residents may soon have some relief.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on March 24 that he has sent multiple directives to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, asking it to put more effort into monitoring airplane noise at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports. According to the governor’s office, the Port Authority’s overall focus will be on addressing noise concerns as well as supporting growth at the airports.
“We will listen to local residents and ensure their input is used to make both JFK and LaGuardia airports better neighbors,” Cuomo said.
The Port Authority plans to help alleviate noise pollution in communities like Flushing, Bayside, Corona and Jamaica by doubling the amount of existing noise monitors to 16, placing them in neighborhoods that have gone without them so far. These monitors will let the Port Authority keep a closer eye on noise violations and increase fines on those who exceed the noise limit.
Additionally, a new Aviation Noise Office is being established and will be staffed by a team dedicated to collecting data and responding to community complaints. The Port Authority also streamlined its noise complaint hotline. If you have a problem with airplane noise in your area, you can call (800) 225-1071.
Community leaders and elected officials were pleased to hear that further steps were being taken to help monitor and reduce noise in the area.
“We want to make sure the horrible noise we’re dealing with is matched by a comprehensive noise monitoring system,” Queens Quiet Skies vice president Robert Whitehair said. “We have very high expectations going forward.”
Whitehair added that he hopes the community roundtable discussions that were promised will move forward soon as well.
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) said she was happy that her district’s complaints about the noise may be leading to real results.
“By responding to the concerns that we raised, the governor has moved us further down the road in our community’s fight against airport-related issues that impact the quality of life in Queens,” she said.
U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Melville) added that collaboration between the government and affected citizens was essential to resolving the problem.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Joey788.