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The Civic Scene: Airline flights: Fewer is better

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Since Fresh Meadows is just about in the middle between LaGuardia and Kennedy airports, the noise and air pollution are of concern to my family.

I must admit that I did not hear much airplane noise in the past few months. Of course, it was the winter and our windows were kept closed most of the time. Yet, every now and then I would still hear a plane about 2 a.m.

Our local members of Congress, including Nita Lowey, Gregory Meeks and Anthony Weiner, have been telling us there will be fewer flights leaving from our Queens airports because the High Density or "slot" rule has been extended to the year 2007 by Congress.

The High Density rule limits the number of flights arriving and leaving from airports. Since airplane noise, and air pollution, are national problems, an assortment of congressional members from both parties did come together to pass this law. Now the Federal Aviation Authority has to enforce the law.

But what confuses me are recent reports that Borough President Claire Shulman is fighting against plans by Delta and Continental airlines to add about 120 more flights from LaGuardia Airport. Currently LaGuardia handles about 1,200 flights daily.

I would really like to understand how there can be more flights planned if Congress just put a limit on the number of flights out of airports in the continental United States.

I do understand that the airline industry in Queens provides more than 50,000 jobs and generates billions of dollars for the economy. But an excessive number of flights, noise pollution plus the pollution of the air with all types of chemical particles is not good for people

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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