A federal law which passed in March is supposed to increase the number of flights out of LaGuardia Airport during peak hours to help small airlines serving nearby regions. This may sound like good economics, but there is already gridlock at LaGuardia Airport during the peak morning and afternoon hours.
The problem is contradictory to the recent action of the New York City Congressional delegation which preserved until 2007 the high density rule, limiting the number of large jets. It seems that there had been pressure to add more large-jet flights to airports in many large cities, but representatives from around the country had banded together to preserve this high density rule.
Since there have been so many airport delays at our metropolitan airports and so many complaints by airline passengers, our congressional delegation has met with the Port Authority and obtained a temporary moratorium to what could have been 600 more flights a day from LaGuardia Airport.
Working for years to solve the noise and pollution problems caused by flights from our airports is a group called SAFE (Sane Aviation For Everyone). SAFE usually meets on the third Thursday of the month at Flushing Hospital under the guidance of people like President Frans Verhagen, Vice President Ellen Cava, Treasurer John Procida and Vice President Jim English, to name a few Queens civic leaders. They are also working with other groups in other areas of the United States. They can be reached at 746-5200.
As if on cue, as this story played out in the media, the number of flights into and out of LaGuardia flying directly over my, and probably your house, increased in noise and duration. I had suggested years ago that flights should be staggerd - planes should not be flown only over one community all the time. There is now cooler weather, our windows are open to catch the cool air and so plane noise is more pronounced.
Jet plane engines are of various designations. Stage 2 engines are noiser than newer Stage 3 engines. Since the airline industry is a business it will try to make a larger profit and will not spend the money for newer engines unless there is an incentive. It is up to the public to tell their legislators if they hear excessive noise or endure long delays at the airports.
Delta Air Lines has began replacing its fleet of shuttle planes along Washington D.C., New York and Boston with new jets that have the newer, quieter Stage 3 engines. US Airways did the same thing earlier this year.
This was because a 1990 federal law required airlines to have done this by Jan. 1, 2000. The federal government does what we want our legislators to tell it to do, so you have to keep pressuring. If you don't complain at meetings or hearings or write letters or make phone calls then it means you don't care.
Another problem caused by airplanes is the pollution of the air from the fuel vapor and the particles produced when fuel is burned. Of course, this pollution also comes from automobile, truck, motorcycle and boat engines.
The incidents of asthma caused by engine pollutants takes a daily toll on our human resources. Do the health problems caused by engine air pollution outweigh the economic benefits?
Our Queens airports are certainly catalysts for economic development. Commerce is made easier with airplanes!. Jobs are created by the airline industry. People can have a better life due to the economic stimulus of the airline industry, but then one must decide if we should pay a little more or earn a little less to cut down on noise and pollution,
Good and Bad New
of the Week
Surprise, there will be a $3 billion transportation bond act on the ballot on Nov. 7. The only good thing I can find in this bond proposal is that the proponents realize that the MTA needs money for new subway cars, roads need fixing, bridges need fixing, and highways are in need of repair,
However, I will again vote against another bond act! I feel that most capital spending should come out of tax revenue, except for very special needs. In 1972 and 1996 we voted money for recycling and the environment - and New York City did not get what was promised. Another use for this money will be for design of an extended Second Avenue subway, but we voted for this subway twice before.
Why vote for more bonds unless you will get some of the money or you buy bonds or are a banker? Why do we need more debt...for undelivered projects?