Keep noise down, efficiency up at Queens airports

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The article, “FAA reform bill raises concern from Queens leaders” (Feb. 19) suggests that aircraft noise is the biggest issue affecting New Yorkers. While it is undoubtedly a concern for some, U.S. airlines have made great strides in reducing aircraft noise in recent years. In fact, FAA data demonstrates that the population exposed to significant levels of aircraft noise has dropped 95 percent since the late 1970s, even as enplanements have tripled. We expect this trend to continue as U.S. airlines purchase new, quieter aircraft that are certified to meet the latest international noise standards.

However, our nation’s antiquated air traffic control system and New York’s dubious distinction as America’s leader in aircraft delays should be of concern to us all. Incredibly, New York’s three airports—Kennedy, La Guardia and Newark Liberty—account for nearly half of our nation’s delays. While some delays are caused by Mother Nature, our reliance on WWII-era radar technology keeps planes from flying as directly and efficiently as they otherwise could and is responsible for the three major New York area airports perennial ranking among the top five most delayed airports in the nation.

This reliance on radar instead of satellite-based navigation is costing passengers time and money. Air traffic control delays have become about 15 percent longer at 13 out of 20 of America’s largest hubs despite declining traffic, with JFK having the longest increase at 49 percent. Twenty years ago, a flight from LaGuardia to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport took less than an hour. Today the same flight takes 90 minutes, as airlines have to account for ATC delays.

The good news is that NextGen modernizat­ion—which utilizes technology we’re already using on our smartphones and GPS—means more efficient ATC and fewer delays. The FAA reauthorization bill now under consideration would advance NextGen while ensuring that environmental and community protections are maintained and enhanced.

NextGen reduces noise overall and America’s airlines are committed to working with the FAA and all communities near them to hear theirconcerns and find solutions that work for us all.

Sharon Pinkerton

Senior Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Policy

Airlines for America

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Reader Feedback

Len Schaier from Port Washington says:
Its time to expose the twisted language of the airline industry. They seem to want to be congratulated on torturing fewer people as time goes by.

NewesFlash: The noise act of 1972 says "The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States to promote an environment for all Americans free from noise that jeopardizes their health or welfare."

Notice the word ALL. It doesn't say "most", it says "all".

Ms Pinkerton, how about helping us lower the DNL threshold from 65 to 55 dnl which would make it easier to get needed mitigation. Nobody is trying to kill the airline industry; most of appreciate the convenience it provides all Americans. Lets just be fair and give the people on the ground the same attention given to the flying public and airlines bottom lines.

Len Schaier, President
March 3, 2016, 9:48 am
Jennifer Hicks from Jefferson Park, Chicago says:
I read Ms. Pinkerton's comments with dismay. NextGen has been implemented at O'Hare Airport in Chicago with disastrous results for people under concentrated flight paths. NextGen brings in planes every 60 seconds so that families living 8 or 9 miles from the airport who never had such traffic before have flights at 1600 ft over their homes for 18 hours a day. The noise is unbelievable, the pollution invisible. And Chicago isn't alone. NextGen has created problems for residents in Phoenix--which is suing the FAA--Boston, San Francisco and other communities. Thanks to GPS, NextGen's too low-too loud-too often approach is wreaking havoc for tens of thousands in Chicago alone. It's a national problem that needs legislation. Quickly.
March 3, 2016, 9:56 am
Susan Carroll, NY Community Aviation Roundtable from Flushing says:
If all Ms. Pinkerton says is true, then why was a Congressional Quiet Skies caucus formed in 2014, with membership growing wherever NextGen has been implemented, in this era of 'quieter planes?' And perhaps the delays problem at the NY area airports has more to do with limited runway capacity and overscheduling by airlines who now call those airports hubs, and less to do with hard-working air traffic controllers.
March 3, 2016, 10:08 am
Mark McEnearney from Lyon Village says:
NextGen reduces aircraft noise exposure by concentrating aircraft noise into noise ghettos. These ghettos extend well beyond the 65 dBA DNL airport noise contours that Ms. Pinkerton and her colleagues at the FAA cite as the boundary for determining the significance of aircraft noise impacts (the EPA and the World Health Organization recommend a 55 dBA DNL criterion).

When Ms. Pinkerton talks about her industry’s commitment to finding solutions, she is talking about their commitment to creating noise ghettos. Unfortunately, for people who live near flight paths, Ms. P. and her colleagues in the aviation industry and at the FAA are succeeding.
March 3, 2016, 11:55 am
Elaine Miller from Malverne says:
Ms. Pinkerton is just another lying spokesperson for the airline industry. It is obvious that she does not live under the highway runways in the sky. If she did she would be touting the industry to reduce the noise. How much longer can we live with the lies of the FAA and the airline industry? The quality of our lives have been stolen from us and yet they defend their criminal decisions.
March 3, 2016, 5:54 pm
Brian W. from East Flushing says:
NextGen introduces new routes into new areas while condensing an already constrained airspace. Departing runway 13 at LGA and neglecting to utilize noise compatible areas like Flushing Meadows is one side effect of NextGen that Miss Pinkerton - safely tucked away in DC's beltway - fails to mention.

NextGen has been the basis of a growing aviation industry backlash in which several cities have joined. Senator McCain has brought his concerns about NextGen to the floor of the US Senate. About 3 dozen US congress members now speak out regularly on the issue.

And speaking of antiquated systems, perhaps Ms. Pinkerton will admit that the noise data she often cites comes from a valueless, antiquated noise metric called "DNL" through the use of Part 150 studies performed by captive agencies.

AS for why this is in print, rather than the valid concerns of Queens residents, perhaps see the Times Ledger apple doesn't fall far from the NewsCorp tree....
March 5, 2016, 6:46 am
Adrastos from Bath Beach Brooklyn says:
here over in bath beach, brooklyn ny, clear across the land from LGA. 30 years, we never had any air traffic until june 2012 when nextgen was intorduced to us, without any public awareness. Suddenly my quiet neighborhood became a war zone, and depending on what runway LGA is using some days are worse than others.
very low flying planes, every 30 seconds like clock work from 6am, until midnight, one after the other, non stop.
this is unacceptable. i live 10 miles away from an airport. I dont live near an airport, yet the airport came to me. Well, I dont want it. We matter, the taxpayers matter.
So Pinkertons statement that nextgen reduces noise is a complete LIE. It doesnt, It cant and it wont.
How can more planes at lower altitudes be less noisey?
they cant.
so many ne4ighborhoods in brooklyn are now suffering on a daily basis s plane fly to land at LGHA,they fly right over prospect park, which is supposed to be a tranquil oasis, it isnt any more.
Dec. 29, 2016, 3:12 pm

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