Noisy LGA flights stir boro lawmakers

A plane prepares to land at LaGuardia Airport during a storm.
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A change in route for some passengers taking off from LaGuardia Airport has become a noisy nuisance for residents in northeast Queens, and area lawmakers said they were trying to see what all the commotion was about. According to a Federal Aviation Administration official, the agency is evaluating the departure path of the Flushing climb, which goes north out of LaGuardia Airport, turning towards the northeast part of the borough.

Lawmakers, including City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing), have received several phone calls within the last week from residents in Whitestone, Flushing and Bayside concerned about a sharp increase in air traffic over their homes. In response, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said he would hold a joint press conference with Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) Friday at 11 a.m. outside the senator’s office to address growing concerns and publicly request a meeting with the FAA.

For weeks, residents from Bayside to Flushing have reported an increase in noise pollution caused by low-flying airplanes crossing over the Clearview Expressway. According to an administrator at the FAA, a departure procedure was being tested before a public comment period opens to consider its permanent approval.

Hugie Romerio, of Bayside, said she first noticed the booming sounds of airplanes flying overhead regularly last month, usually between 6 a.m. and noon or 6 p.m. and midnight.

“A lot of people are very upset about this because we do not want this to become a long-term, permanent situation,” Romerio said. “It is the constant noise and air pollution that could end up affecting our property values. Nobody wants that.”

Complaints were being forwarded to the office of U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside), who alerted the FAA and said the agency was ultimately responsible for managing its flight plans.

The FAA sent a letter to Avella in June outlining the trial run, adding the departure procedure had airplane traffic turning left to the north off Runway 13 at LaGuardia — a pattern that would not exceed six months. The start date for the trial, however, was not specified.

“The FAA is evaluating a NextGen procedure for flights departing from Runway 13 at LaGuardia Airport. The procedure follows an existing departure path over Queens,” the FAA said in a statement. “The FAA evaluation will identify the potential benefits and impacts of the NextGen procedure. It also will indicate if additional environmental analysis is necessary before the agency decides whether to permanently implement the procedure.”

Braunstein said the public meeting should have been scheduled sooner, after weeks of noise complaints.

“You can’t leave your windows open around here anymore,” Braunstein said. “I want a clear answer right now as to what has changed. We cannot tolerate this.”

Since she first noticed the noise while trying to watch television in her Bayside residence, Romerio said she has been actively soliciting community involvement to get to the bottom of the noise. She said the FAA should have considered public input by making their plans known before changing any flight patterns.

“This has such a direct impact on our neighborho­od,” Romerio said. “The public should be aware they are doing this because if they do not pay attention, it will become the new normal.”

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

Updated 11:42 am, November 11, 2014
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Reader feedback

James Lin says:
I found a website that shows you how to check flight patterns of airplanes departing from airports.

1) Go to this website:
2) Select “Downloads” option from “Research Center” drop-down list on top of the website
3) Click on “Online Flight Tracking” link under “Community Noise Monitoring Initiative” section to download a PDF file that shows you how to access certain flight tracking websites that are available to the public

After I checked the flight patterns of LaGuardia airport, I noticed that almost all departing airplanes from this airport are flying over northeast part of Queens. I also noticed that these airplanes are flying at an extremely low altitude when flying over this area. I think these are the main reasons why we are hearing loud airplane noises within few minutes apart for pretty much every day.
Aug. 23, 2012, 9:20 am
Markus from Flushing says:
It was already noisy with planes flying over and real low, but it is intensifying and hard to escape from with the added vibration the sounds is producing. Car alarms go off adding even more noise pollution in the air. What can you do about than leaving a complaint on the Port Authority website here:

Hopefully if many of us make a complaint the sound pollution will go away.
Aug. 26, 2012, 11:30 am
James Lin from Bayside says:
As stated in the description of the YouTube video: Elena Maroulleti, Host and Executive Producer of AKTINA FM (91.5FM WNYE NY), discusses the sudden increase of air traffic over Bayside New York, among other communities, with New York State Senator Tony Avella and Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece. The FAA unilaterally decided to test a new departure route from LaGuardia Airport and has refused to discuss the matter with officials or residents. They may make the route permanent. The air traffic noise pollution has disturbed, dismayed, and angered residents. Watch this radio interview that was also featured on AKTINA TV. Plane nuts!

We all need to be united in this fight and submit a formal complaint!
Aug. 28, 2012, 4:51 pm
Fulya from Broadway-Flushing says:
I have filled the compaint at
The noise is not bearable. Cannot enjoy my home even after closing all the windows.
Sept. 4, 2012, 9:48 pm
PPastuzyn from Woodside NY says:
We have planes coming over every 30 seconds. For 20 hours a day! They come over so low, I could tickle the peoples' toes. The smell and taste of jet fuel permeates everything, causing nose bleeds, sore throats, etc. When we call our elected officials we get nothing but excuses. We were told it is a federal issue. Call our "federal officials" and are ignored. For this lack of quality of life I pay nearly $6,000.00 in property taxes. When I called Bosco's office at La Guardia, I was told to move!! Why should I?? Remember, elected officials, I VOTE!!!
Oct. 24, 2012, 1:21 pm
Michael Smirnov from Rego Park says:
lately we have plane-train of landing plains on our heads every 20-30 seconds plane lending to LGA mostly Delta now and flying so low you can see people sitting on board. I red somewhere that sen. Schumer fights for helicopter's noise over Long Island. But nobody care about us New Yorkers who leave in northern Queens Middle Village, Rego Park, Forest Hills. We're second hand citizens who pay highest taxes
in all country and i don't know for what?
Nov. 5, 2012, 10:20 am
F.Faga from Jackson Heights says:
It's Impossible to live in an expensive residential area like Jackson Heights with planes flying over your buildings coming from La Guardia Airport creating an unbearable amount of noise pollution. Specially, when most of the residents of this neighborhood have a day off on the weekends.
Whoever reads this message and can do something better than making a complaint on internet will be hardly appreciate.

Thank you.
Jan. 19, 2013, 1:42 pm
Adrastos from Bath Beach says:
It has been pure hell over here in Bath Beach / Bensonhurst Brooklyn for the last 2 years. Runway 4 has been in use and we have, and still have planes flying 30 seconds apart, non stop. We have had no relief in over 2 weeks already. Sometimes the runways vary so we will get relief from time to time, but the residents of Larchmont have been complaining and now they shifted runway 4 to the Brooklyn approach, or something to this effect.

The worst thing is flying from the "Gravesend Bay", clear across Brooklyn, the to Queens to get to LGA. I live near the Verazzano Bridge which is clear across the land from LGA, so people that say, don't live near an airport, I don't. The planes need to fly more over water where applicable and NOT over densley populated residential areas.

What the FAA has done to all us tax paying residents is criminal, yet none of our elected officials give a rats ass about us. Senator Schumer is a first class schmuck, he is a Park Slope resident, yet he must be deaf if he cannot hear the planes roar over his turf every 30 seconds, because they are there.

It seems our elected officials must have there heads up their asses if they cannot understand all the people that are suffering because of Nextgen. All the toxic fuel that is being generated from these planes, to me is scary. Jet fuel causes cancer, does anyone not realize this.

Also, Nextgen claims is is supposed to be so much better for the environment, saving fuel, and bla bla bla.....but so far all is has been doing is getting more flights in progress, and creating more noise than ever before.

People can hear a plane fly by even every 15 minutes, you can sort of deal with that, but every 30 seconds is simply maddening. It makes me hate everything, puts me in a bad mood. This noise a plane makes is intrusive and offensive. The trail it leaves is horrible, just as it fades, another comes.

constant, all day and night constant...............somehow this has to get resolved. There is no neighborhood that is exempt from this. Even Long Islanders have airplane noise issues..
Oct. 13, 2013, 8:57 pm

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