BY TRISHA SAKHUJA
After months of complaining about the airplane noise that looms over the inner communities living close to LaGuardia and JFK airports, last week Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to conduct a comprehensive review of the noise issues.
“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.
Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said the PA has taken big steps to address noise surrounding local airports.
“We are committed to working with all communities we operate in to address their concerns, while bringing JFK and LaGuardia airports into the 21st Century and maintaining the viability of our airports as major economic engines for the metropolitan region,” Foye said in a statement.
The PA will work closely with the Federal Aviation Administration to address overall noise concerns through a noise study and two roundtable discussions with select community organizations and representatives of local elected officials, during the month of April.
Janet McEneaney from Queens Quiet Skies, a local group advocating to reduce noise from local airports across the City, said they are hopeful that they will be invited to attend the roundtable discussions.
“We see a real opportunity to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands people with these Port Authority initiatives,” she said. “These roundtables will give us a voice in the decision making process.”
In addition to the roundtables, the PA is moving ahead with Cuomo’s directive to double the existing portable noise monitors at LGA and JFK airports.
Furthermore, the comprehensive Part 150 Study will better-evaluate noise impacts to the communities surrounding JFK and LGA airports with the use of an experienced aircraft noise consulting firm.
McEneaney said the noise studies could take anywhere from 18 to 36 months, but they will provide needed information about where the noise is the worst.
The Part 150 Study is an effort to identify residences, schools, libraries, hospitals/nursing homes and places of worship adversely impacted by aircraft noise. The study will further recommend measures to mitigate excessive noise where possible and seeks to limit future development in potential problem areas.
According to Cuomo’s statement, a new aviation office will be staffed with a dedicated team, which will be responsible for collecting and reviewing noise data, while also responding to community complaints.
Calls made to the PA were not returned in time for press.
Reach Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Tsakhuja13.