Group fights flight noise in Bayside

A plane flies into LaGuardia Airport. Northeast Queens residents are coordinating efforts to combat rising airplane noise in their neighborhoods. Photo by Christina Santucci
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A group of activists in northeast Queens have banded together to coordinate efforts against the rising volume of airline noise affecting their area.

As lawmakers continue to press the Federal Aviation Administration to curb the amount of airplane traffic flying over the heads of residents in Little Neck, Bayside, Whitestone and beyond, Community Board 11 member Janet McEneaney helped bring together as many as 40 neighbors to solidify their opposition to the increasing noise.

“Our goal is to raise consciousness in our area about what’s really happening because we have had no notification by the FAA or Port Authority,” McEneaney said.

The group first assembled last month with a makeshift meeting at the Bay Terrace Diner. Since then, they have increased in numbers and hit the streets to distribute fliers and information as the group branches out to collaborate with neighboring counties.

“We have been getting a big response,” McEneaney said. “People are sending us messages and asking what they can do to help.”

According to one FAA spokesman, the agency has been testing out a new satellite navigation system on a departure path that runs over Whitestone and Bayside. Homeowners throughout northeast Queens joined over the summer with elected officials, including state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside), to ask the FAA for answers on a change in flight patterns that resulted in an increase in noise pollution.

Len Schier, of the Long Island group Quiet Skies, has been advocating against airline expansion, which drew McEneaney and the Bayside group to work with them. Schier has been working with homeowners from both Queens and Brooklyn through recent weeks to organize their calls for more FAA insight.

“We need to build up some steam because the need for flight capacity keeps going up,” Schier said. “The FAA says there is no noise. But people do not wake up in the morning and decide this would be the year they are bothered by planes.”

Since the volume became unbearable for some northeast Queens residents over the summer, both Avella and Braunstein’s offices said they were reaching out to the FAA for more information on the test period, which they said should be finishing up within weeks. No updates have since transpired.

A departure path known as the Tnnis Climb has been used more frequently over a six-month test period from February to August, the FAA said. But McEneaney and her neighbors said they were kept in the dark over any change in flight plans at LaGuardia Airport.

“We would like our senators and other elected officials to think about the impact that this has on our community,” McEneaney said. “If we don’t see any movement, we will explore some other action, including possibly legal action.”

McEneaney has set up an email account, queensquietskies@aol.com, for northeast Queens residents to contact if they are looking to become involved with the movement.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Posted 10:47 pm, October 10, 2012
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Reader feedback

Frank Persic from Bayside (WeeksWoodland) says:
I moved to Bayside (WeeksWoodland) with my family from Whitestone 3 years ago seeking quality of life and quiet. Now I find that with the constant stream of low aircraft basically crop-dusting our backyards and waking us every day at 6:30 a.m. and going until midnight is really ruining the quality of life for all the residents of this beautiful neighborhood. Do the politicians have any idea of how annoying and disturbing it is to listen to planes fly by every 30 seconds all day non stop. please help us, something must be done.
Oct. 17, 2012, 7:08 pm
Jef from Bath Beach says:
I can sympathise with everyone. As a Bath Beach Brooklyn resident for the last 25 years, we never had any air traffic what so ever, that is until recently, maybe a year now.

The planes fly at 30 seconds apart, all day long, non stop. They are much much lower than ever before. It is totally maddening to hear the roar of these planes.

They fly over the whole entire Borough of Brooklyn, thus disrupting all the neighborhoods until it gets to laGuardia. park Slops is a living hell. prospect park, you cant even stroll in the park in silence, you get the roar of a jet every 30 seconds.

Just how many flights per day are there.????

Our city electives really need to do something aboyut this. It seems as LaGuardia changed flight paths to this lower level of flying, it is ruining hundreds of thousands of residents along the way.

We now have no quality of life thanks to these loud annoying maddening planes flying by.
Oct. 21, 2012, 8:36 pm
Sammy from Sunset park says:
The planes are terrible over here as well. they seem to fly 40 seconds apart, that is like 2 planes per minute, that is 120 planes per hour, and 1,440 planes in a 12 hour span, dropping jet fuel all over the residents homes and backyards and everything outside.

not to mention the constant roaring of planes all freaking day.
did anyone not think about any of the residents while re routing these planes.
perhaps if they were higher we would not hear them.
but no, i dont want to hear air traffic all day and night long. it is annoying.
Nov. 8, 2012, 12:11 pm
Johanna Lynch from Weeks Woodlands, Bayside says:
The constant, low flying planes over our homes since the summer is intolerable! On one Saturday recently, I counted and clocked 55 planes between 9:40 am when I started counting, and 12:32pm!

I live in one of the most beautiful and desirable neighbords in Queens and can't stand outside and talk to my neighbors anymore. We pay over $5,000 a year in taxes, and this is what we get?

Is it the Asians in Flushing in their newly built highrises complaining about the noise, or a new hub for Delta @ LaGuardia that are responsible?

Whatever it is, it has to stop, or you will be seeing a mass exodus from northern queens.
Dec. 9, 2012, 2:27 pm
Omar from Bensonhurst says:
Air traffic is terrible over here as well. There were never airplanes flying in my neighborhood, I am here 30 years.

Not only do they fly at 45 seconds apart, they are so low, almost frightening. Why do they have to fly this low.? What could possibly be the purpose of that. I wish the planes would go back to the way they were where we didn't hear them anymore

Doesn't the FAA realize that airplane noise is noise pollution, and is not a pleasant sound to here, especially when it is constant, which it is.

I would rather listen to the "clickity clack" of the subway, at least that is rhythmatic, and not 45 seconds apart.
Dec. 12, 2012, 10:32 pm
Phyllis from woodside says:
We have planes landing over us every 40 seconds for 20 hours per day here. We are forced to breath perc, ground glass, cresol, benzene ,PAHs aldehydes,acetone, acetylene, chromium, xylenes, mercury, nickle, toluene, phenois and other carcenogins which are in the jet fuel being dumped upon us! People, including me, have only been complaining about the "noiseboarding".What about this disgusting mess!! Soon jumbo jets will be landing at La G!!!
Dec. 30, 2012, 9:05 pm
Cezzre from Bensonhurst says:
What is going on here, it is almost a year since we noticed all the low flying aircraft over our homes. Our neighborhood was so nice and peaceful, that is until the FAA changed the flight paths, and did not let anyone know, as if they are the only agency in the world that matters????

Whta the FAA has done to all the residents of Brooklyn and Queens is criminal, they should not have been allowed to do this, and the planes are flying so low, it is actually frightening.

Did the FAA ever realize how horrible aircraft sounds?, it is not a pleasant sound to hear, it is rather horrible if you ask me.

Our officials that we the public elect here in brooklyn must be deaf to the sounds of aircraft, for they are doing squat for us.

Please, someone needs to address the FAA and make them change the flight paths back to what they were, or re design them in a better way.

having planes fly completely over Brooklyn and Queens is not the answer. Who ever heard of flying planes over such dense metropolises.
March 29, 2013, 9:09 pm
Mr Quiet from Sinset park - Bay Ridge says:
it seems as though any brooklyn official has not a clue about these planes that have invaded out borough, for they are doing nothing to help us.

here in Sunset Park, they fly one after the other 30 seconds apart, all day long, non stop, one after the other.
the noise is unbeareable already.

doesnt anyone seem concerned that breathing in jet fuel on a daily basic is not safe, but no one seems to care about the residents, just the airlines.
April 17, 2013, 3:03 pm
Camille Chiodo from Bayside says:
Now that it is Spring, the aircraft noise is unbearable!

You cannot sleep with your windows open. . . there
is a plane every few seconds.

This is really a quality of life issue, and just so
frustrating that the FAA was able to do this without
any community hearings.
May 4, 2013, 1:28 pm
Dom Angell from Flushing says:
I can no loger sleep. I have planes passing my coop apartment and flying low every 2 minutes. I recorded this. Children cry and wont fall asleep. It is like a war zone over my roof. How did this happen? No one asked our neighborhood if we are OK with tremendous daily air traffic noise! My community is outraged! My guests from Manhattan cant even visit me for a music recording session or movie screening. The noise is horrible! How can I make them stop?
Sept. 2, 2013, 1 pm
quiet man from all of brooklyn says:
and it is 2 years later and the planes are still flying at 30 second intervals all day every day.

Why isn't anything being done about this? Are we just supposed to accept this and carry on with life, while we have roaring airplanes fly over our heads in residential neighborhoods, all day every day for the rest of our lives?

We can't even move to another part of town, because all of Brooklyn is touched by aircraft, either from LGA of JFK.....sickening, this is what it is sickening.

Our elected officials, Gillibrand and Scummer must have their heads up thier asses if they haven't realized the noise and quality of life issues we have.

Lets see if de Blasio will do anything for us, Bloomberg certainly did nothing for us, and what about Obama, another moron, he hasnt done anything for us at all.

the airlines industry is ruining all of New Yorkers quality of life, our skies look and sound like a free for all with planes flying all over the place!

I watch the airport monitor and see the routes the planes fly, and most of the routes are COMPLETELY over dense residential areas that never had air traffice before.

un-acceptable, simply unacceptable!!
May 8, 2014, 1:07 pm

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