Avella bill tackles plane noise

A plane flies over Flushing Bay en route to LaGuardia Airport, where a change in flight patterns has raised the noise level in northeast Queens. Photo by Christina Santucci
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After a summer in which residents throughout northeast Queens raised their voices over growing airplane noise, one state senator has introduced legislation that would put more power in the hands — and ears — of the people.

A bill introduced by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) would require the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to routinely conduct noise and land use compatibility surveys, as outlined under federal aviation regulations, and also host public hearings to oversee aircraft noise complaints.

“My office continues to hear from homeowners who are irate at this abrupt increase in air traffic over their homes, which is causing an intolerable amount of noise pollution,” Avella said. “Frankly, this is unfathomable that the PANYNJ, which controls three of the busiest airports in the world in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, has not conducted a study assessing the impact of aircraft noise in residential areas.”

According to Avella, the Federal Aviation Administration started testing new approach and departure paths for the major metropolitan airports throughout the Northeast under what the FAA calls the NextGen Program. The increase in the number of flights, Avella said, has created a lot of noise in the community from more air traffic flying overhead.

In Bayside, a group had joined forces with neighbors in both Queens and Nassau counties to form a unified voice against what they said was an increasingly intolerable rise in aircraft noise flying over their homes. Janet McEneany, a member of Community Board 11, helped lead a charge in northeast Queens to push back against the FAA.

“We just want to know why we have this noise and all these vapor trails,” McEneany said. “People want to know what’s happening. There has not been enough information put out to the communities.”

Earlier this summer, Avella joined with several northeast Queens leaders to press the FAA for answers. State Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) said there has not been enough communication between the agency and the communities affected by more airliner noise.

“We can’t tolerate this,” Braunstein said. “They tried their tests and they didn’t work. Now tell us when it is going to stop.”

Avella said FAA regulations provide a mechanism allowing the agency to consider aircraft noise and how it affects communities, which has been implemented at major airports outside New York and New Jersey. The senator called on the FAA to pay closer attention to the metropolitan area and to heed the calls from both lawmakers and citizens in the northeast to remain part of the discussions.

“While I understand new flight patterns may need to be instituted, they need to be properly evaluated to determine the impact on the quality of life for residents,” Avella said. “I introduced this legislation to give these residents a voice in a decision-making process that will have such a profound effect on their daily lives.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Posted 6:55 pm, November 14, 2012
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Reader feedback

Adrastos from Bath Beach says:
Well, we have the planes flying here over 20th ave, in Bath beach / bensonhurst, they fly so low, I can see the colors of the planes. The noise is so loud, I can her it when the double pane windows are closed. I have been in this apt for 25 years we have never ever had any air traffice until a year or two ago, It is every 30 seconds a plane flys by, just when it fades the next one flys by. Non stop. 2 planes per minute, 120 per hour and at at 10 hour span roughly 1200 planes fly by.

the noise is maddening, why cant someone make the FAA make the planes fly higher, why must they be so low.

park Slope over 7th Ave is also another insanely loud ait corridor, again, every 30 seconds.
jet fuel getting dumped every where.

Brooklyn has now no quality of life. Who wants to be in thier home, say reading a book in quiet, only to have an airplane fly by ever 30 seconds all day long, non stop.

It is so awful...
Nov. 17, 2012, 9:58 pm
Armen from North Flushing and Bayside says:
Both my daughters live in the area with the new air traffic. My 3 and a half year old granddaughter in Bayside wakes up at 4:30am and asks her mother 'Mommy, what is that noise, I am scared'. When I go visit them on Sundays we can't hear each other talk when the planes are flying over. If I had any doubts about their complaints I don't anymore.
This has to stop and soon, the stress from this noise is unhealthy for both parents and children and Iam afraid to think about the air polution.
Dec. 4, 2012, 9:23 pm
Bill from Queens says:
You can contact La Guardia Airport

Jan. 22, 2013, 10:16 pm
John from Queens says:
Why cant the Planes stay High until they come to the end of Flushing Meadow Bay and then start to descend over the water and the highway. That would keep the low flying planes away from residents.
Jan. 22, 2013, 10:20 pm
John from Queens says:
Why can't the planes stay high and reach the end of Flushing Meadow Bay then start to descend over the water and the highway that would keep the low flying planes away from the residents.
Jan. 22, 2013, 10:21 pm
John from Queens says:
Why can't the planes stay high until reaching the beginning of Flushing Meadow Bay, then start to descend over the water and highway.
Jan. 22, 2013, 10:24 pm

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