Bill to study airport noise and health impact passes the Senate

The New York State Senate passed legislation (S.5855) co-sponsored by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. which mandates New York State study the environmental, noise and human health impacts caused by runways, including new runways, and air traffic at John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport.

“Communities in areas around JFK and LaGuardia airports have experienced a declining quality of life as a result of noise pollution and possibly other ill effects from air traffic patterns,” said Addabbo. “Noise complaints in affected neighborhoods have skyrocketed due to changing air traffic patterns and too many planes flying on low approaches to these airports. Through this study, we hope to develop a comprehensive plan to address these issues so the neighborhoods can experience a better quality of life now and in the future,” Addabbo said.

As a result of the changing air traffic patterns and low approaching planes, communities in Nassau and Suffolk counties and parts of New York City experience a near-constant and deafening noise level that studies have shown is significantly above the day-night average noise level of 6 decibels. Currently, decibel levels are calculated using an average per day system, which doesn’t accurately portray the extreme noise created by planes exceeding those threshold levels on a daily basis. This bill will require DEC to monitor noise levels experienced in 2020 and 2021 with particular attention to the impact of pollution and emissions on the life, health and property values of residents living adjacent to flight paths.

The bill was delivered to the Assembly for consideration.