On August 24th, Senator Tony Avella was joined by Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, Community Board 11 Chair Jerry Iannece, civic leaders, and dozens of fed up homeowners at a rally protesting the sudden increase in air traffic from LaGuardia Airport that has caused unbearable noise and air pollution for residents in Northeast Queens, including the neighborhoods of Bayside, Bay Terrace, and North Flushing.
Earlier this summer, Senator Avella and Assemblyman Braunstein began receiving complaints from residents that the deafening sound caused by the constant plane traffic was creating significant quality of life issues for their residential neighborhoods. Avella and Braunstein immediately reached out to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) who subsequently indicated that a new departure procedure from La Guardia Airport is currently being tested and will be completed in 6 months. They stated that should the agency decide to pursue the use of this new pattern on a permanent basis, comments from the public will be considered before an environmental determination is made.
Unfortunately, the FAA response did not convey the significance of public comment during their decision making process nor the means by which the public would be notified of the comment period. Frustrated homeowners are calling both offices every day, increasingly upset at the inability to even open their windows during the hot summer months.
Avella stated, “My office has been inundated with phone calls from homeowners who are irate at this abrupt increase in air traffic over their homes, which is causing an intolerable amount of noise pollution. Residents are unable to open their windows and enjoy these summer months. While I understand the FAA is testing a new departure procedure, residents were never notified of the trial period and they are becoming increasingly concerned with the permanence of this new procedure.”
Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, stated, "I have received numerous calls from my constituents on a daily basis, whose quality of life has been destroyed by the constant barrage of plane noise. It is outrageous that our community was not notified prior to the start of the FAA’s flight departure testing and that we have still not been informed of its end date. It is clear to me, Senator Avella and my constituents that this testing has been a failure and we call on the FAA to conclude it as soon as possible."
“It is clear that this trial period has failed. New flight patterns cannot be instituted if they are so detrimental to the quality of life for residents. I call on the FAA to hear the concerns of these homeowners and finally agree to a meeting to discuss this matter further,” concluded Avella.