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LaGuardia Airport - Airplane Noise

Jackson Heights, Corona & Queens Voice Concerns Regarding LGA Airplane Noise

FAA Considering Extension of LaGuardia Airport Hours & Other Changes

airplane noise nyc jfk lga laguardia airport airplane noiseOctober 19, 2015 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Transit Issues NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz.

I attended a town hall meeting about the airplane noise coming from LaGuardia Airport at PS 69 in Jackson Heights. The town hall had been organized by NYS Senator Peralta's office and the panel of speakers included local government officials and representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] and the New York New Jersey Port Authority [NYNJPA].

Standing Room Only at PS 69

The auditorium was packed and there were people lined up along the walls as well as standing in the back of the auditorium. Airplane noise has emerged as a big issue for Jackson Heights due to a couple of construction projects going on at the airport - both of which will be completed at the end of November.

Cynical Audience Member's Point of View

The timing of the town hall meeting, only six weeks before the construction was to end, led one of the local pundits to cynically suggest that this was merely political theater, rather than an effort to accomplish anything substantive.

There was an earlier town hall meeting organized about two years ago by NYC City Councilmember Dromm, to tackle the problem in its early stages, and while it was happening - not after it was all over - which is what we're close to today.

But that said, these town hall meetings are not just political theater, although inevitably that is some of it, which you will see in the video. And while the immediate problem will subside, we discovered that there a number of efforts either underway or in the planning stages, in which the community has a vested stake in the outcomes.

Not Said In Meeting: Federal Register States That Consideration Is Being Given To Extending LGA's Operational Hours & Slots

In doing follow up research I found a piece on the Federal Register government website that informed me that the FAA is considering changing the operational hours and slots for LaGuardia Airport. This was not discussed at the town hall [click into story for additional detail]. We also found other things that were either scarcely touched upon or not addressed, which we included in this report.

Click here to read the rest of this report about LaGuardia Airport & Airplane Noise in NYC. The report includes video presentations, including some audience interaction, and a photo slide show and other information about FAA air traffic changes, airplane noise and what you can do about it.


LaGuardia Airport - Airplane Noise

Jackson Heights, Corona & Queens Voice Concerns Regarding LGA Airplane Noise

FAA Considering Extension of LaGuardia Airport Hours & Other Changes

laguardia airport noise airplane noise jackson heights queensOctober 19, 2015 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Transit Issues NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz. Continued.

Congressman Crowley made mention that airplane noise has been an issue since he's been in office. Crowley noted that he and other government officials have taken numerous steps to contain it - and continue to do so - but that there are certain realities associated with living in a neighborhood not far from a busy airport.

As we move further into this report, you will see that the solution is not as simple as rerouting planes, which I had thought going in to the town hall. But there are other approaches to solving the problem and some are already underway.

Everyone I spoke to leaving the town hall said that they came away having learned something, although most opined that they weren't so sure, and perhaps even doubtful, that anything real would come of it. Councilmember Dromm told us he had heard this sentiment expressed going into the town hall, and if the government officials, FAA and NYNJPA representatives had changed people's perceptions about this in the meeting, it was only in a small increment. But that's how real change generally takes place.

Federal Aviation Agency Responsibilities - FAA LGA Queens

faa queens lga nynjpa laguardiaWe were told that there are between 60 and 80 flights per weekend day between the hours of 5.45 am and 9 am. Due to legislation passed in 1979 [the Airplane Noise Abatement Act] funding is provided to schools to soundproof their facilities if the noise exceeds a certain level. The studies that precede sound proofing are called Part 150 Studies and they are initiated by the local airport operator, which in this case is the NYNJ Port Authority.

Some of the efforts to mitigate noise from airports include: 1) buying adjacent lands, 2) re-routing planes and 3) sound proofing local schools and public facilities.

The threshold for sound proofing is that the facility must exceed a 65 DNL which is a decibel level day and night average. The use of this threshold varies depending on the type of property that surrounds the airport, as some noise levels that are unacceptable for residentially zoned areas, are considered acceptable for commercial and manufacturing areas.

Studies on Impact of Elevated Noise Levels on Neighborhoods

airplane noise levels queens nyc jackson heightsA number of studies have been done regarding airport noise and a new study is currently underway. The new study looks at the impact of noise on a community and it's due to be completed in 2017. The research is being done by the FAA in collaboration with a multitude of other agencies including, but not limited to, the Department of Transportation [DOT], National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA], the Department of the Interior and the Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD].

The study attempts to assess the impact of noise levels on people. It has been suggested that elevated noise levels may impair children's learning abilities.

Because of the Airplane Noise Abatement Act of 1979 the FAA has supplied $293 million in funding to sound proof 77 schools in the New York & New Jersey area. The total cost of the soundproofing was $386 million, the rest of which was supplied by state and municipal levels of government. Twelve of those schools are near LaGuardia Airport in Queens and the implementation began in 1983.

Two Construction Projects at Root of Increased Noise Problem

laguardia airport construction projectsThe New York metro area, including parts of New Jersey, is the most heavily trafficked air space in the nation and world. LaGuardia recently began the implementation of two construction projects: 1) repaving the runways which they do every ten years and 2) modifying the ends of the runways with concrete and Styrofoam closures to enhance safety related to rough landings and problematic take offs.

The runway that leads into and out of Jackson Heights is runway 22. It typically represents only 3% of all departures because the Port Authority recognizes the noise impact on the community. Hence the Port Authority tries to minimize departures on this runway.

Since these two construction projects began, the percentage of takeoffs has risen to 7% of the total. We were informed that there were about 1600 departures per month on runway 22 in recent months. This is an important statistic since airplane departures make the most noise, for the obvious reason that the engines are working hardest at take off to lift the multi-ton aircraft and its cargo and passengers into the air.

Queens: Home of 5th [or 6th] & 20th Largest Airports in U.S.

laguardia airport $4 billion investment to modernizeLaGuardia is the 20th largest airport in the nation and JFK is the 5th or 6th. LaGuardia accommodated 27 million passengers and 361 thousand plane movements in 2014. JFK, by contrast, accommodated 53 million - about twice LGA - and 422 thousand plane movements [bigger planes / long haul internationals].

LaGuardia Airport averages about a thousand flights per day either arriving or departing [plane movements]. The hours are about 6 am to about 10 pm - so 16 hours per day translates into an average of about a flight per minute that's either arriving or departing.

I found the JFK / LGA statistics on Wikipedia and they cross-referenced well with the numbers for LGA provided at the town hall. LaGuardia Airport accounts for between 10,000 and 12,000 jobs [heard / found varying statistics]. About a thousand or more of them are held by residents in the Jackson Heights & nearby Queens neighborhoods.

The folks from the FAA said that the temporary slots allocated to the airlines would be made permanent, but that new slots would not be added. This is an important lesson for the community, because changes that are made and sold in on a temporary basis, seem to eventually have a way of becoming permanent.

LaGuardia Airport Traffic Growth - To Be or Not To Be?

Congressman Crowley told us that the airport would "inevitably grow", but "not in flights or number of runways" [see video starting about 30 seconds in].

Congressman Crowley's statement about LaGuardia Airport not growing in flights didn't seem to stack up well with other information I collected after the meeting. The salient points include: 1) a statement in the Federal Register about expanding hours operation and slots at LaGuardia Airport, 2) the FAA Nex Gen flight consolidation program which will enable the U.S. to add flight capacity to existing airport terminals and 3) the recent announcement of multi-billion dollar upgrades to LaGuardia Airport including a doubling of the space made available for planes to move around in on the ground.

federal register expanded hours at lgaI found this statement published on the Federal Register website. The Federal Register is the official journal of the federal government of the United States and it can be found by scrolling down to III.A using the url following the statement.

"Although not proposed, the FAA is considering changing the slot-controlled hours to daily from 0600 to 2259 for LGA to maintain consistency across all airports. The FAA believes a consistent approach across the three airports would reduce confusion for carriers as to when slots are required for an operation and reduce the carriers' burden when submitting slot requests. If the FAA changed the slot-controlled hours at LGA, it would have to allocate slots in those new hours."

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/01/08/2014-30378/slot-management-and-transparency-for-laguardia-airport-john-f-kennedy-international-airport-and#h-20

It says, while not yet officially proposed, that consideration is being given by the FAA to increasing the hours of operation at LaGuardia from 10 pm to midnight and increasing the total slots at LaGuardia.

Governor Cuomo Earmarks $4 Billion For LaGuardia Airport Upgrade

This summer laguardia airport upgrade by nys cuomo NYS Governor Cuomo allocated $4 billion to modernizing LaGuardia Airport. According to the Gothamist half of the upgrade will be funded privately, and for which those private investors will operate and profit from the new facility.

Simultaneously Delta Airlines is expected to modernize Terminals C & D, which it owns, in tandem with the state program. While LaGuardia Airport might not be adding runways, they plan to more than double the space for planes to move around in under the Governor's plan.

Assuming final NYNJPA final approval, the project is expected to begin in early 2016 and be ready for use by midyear 2019. They told the public 8,000 new jobs would be created, but they must be construction jobs because the entire LaGuardia Airport Facility currently employs 10,000 to 12,000 people. Governor Cuomo didn't mention anything about airplane noise or changed flight paths to accommodate construction.

Futures: Community Roundtables

In 2012 - 2013, complaints came streaming in regarding the elevated noise levels caused by FAA changed flight paths. According to the NYT, a bill was introduced requiring the NYNJPA to conduct studies on land use and aircraft noise around the airports. To make the bill effective, the state of New Jersey would have had to pass a similar bill because the NYNJPA governance includes Teeterboro and Newark Airports. In November 2013 Governor Cuomo vetoed the bill, but authorized the studies [will take three years so expected in 2016 / 2017] and initiated the establishment of community roundtables to foster a community / airport operator dialogue.

New York New Jersey Port Authority - NYNJPA LaGuardia Airport

The New York New Jersey Port Authority has been operating LaGuardia Airport since 1947. They have a lease that, if I heard correctly, runs well into the middle of the 21st century. The New York New Jersey Port Authority is a two-state government run entity, while the FAA is a federal run agency which has jurisdiction over the skies and noise associated with it.

The NYNJPA collaborated with the FAA to secure funding to soundproof some of the local schools, as referenced earlier in this report. They noted that the airport accounts for nearly 11,000 local jobs [as mentioned above the numbers varied between 10,000 and 12,000 by source] and accommodates the influx of nearly 27 million passengers, which also contributes to the local economy.

Causes for the 2015 Uptick in Plane Noise in Jackson Heights

laguardia airport lga airplane noiseThe New York New Jersey Port Authority [NYNJPA] representative talked about the runway improvement project, which is one of the causes of the increase in noise. The project reduces risk to airport passengers during takeoffs and landings by extending and modifying the runway end.

Specifically the project increases runway length 500 feet and widens the runway end by an additional 180 feet. Apparently these are being built with a concrete / Styrofoam hybrid. I believe he mentioned that the runway decks were built in 1967 - 1968. This project was mandated by the federal government for safety reasons and must be completed by December 31, 2015. The second project, as mentioned earlier, was the re-pavement of the runways, which occurs every ten years.

The reason for the uptick in noise in the Jackson Heights neighborhood is directly linked to these two projects. What happens is that on weekends, when there is less activity at the airport, they reroute the planes to runway 22 so that they can work on the other runway to re-pave it and complete the runway safety modification project.

Because of that rerouting, there's been more noise on weekends, starting - according the audience - at 5.45 am with take offs.

Re-Routing Planes As Solution? It's Not So Simple ... or is it?

Solving the problem is not as simple as rerouting planes. Weather factors such as high winds, low visibility, runway conditions [rain / snow], airport construction & maintenance and other operational factors come into play.

A number of efforts are underway to continue to address this ongoing and long term problem, including less noisy engines [see Crowley comments in video] and one of the panelists noted that they were looking into flight path modifications made possible by new technology. But these changes won't happen overnight.

In 2012 the FAA began rerouting plane traffic along certain routes, as part of their Nex Gen program, without first conducting environmental studies. Planes that once reached an elevation of 2,500 feet before passing over residential homes in Queens, now fly over a quarter million homes prior to reaching that height, according to the Queens Times Ledger. As a result, the noise level from the rerouted airplanes caused the DNL in one Flushing location to climb from the mid 50's into the mid 60's which is near the human health guideline threshhold [65 DNL].

NYNJPA Stationary Noise Monitors in Queens

laguardia airport airplane noise monitors mobileThe NYNJPA [New York New Jersey Port Authority] has some stationary noise monitors scattered throughout the area [see map at right] as well as a number of mobile monitors.

In the Question & Answer session, someone [I believe it was NYS Assemblyman Michael DenDekker] asked why there were several stationary monitors in Whitestone and Bayside, which are further away from the airport [thus likely lower noise readings] than in Jackson Heights and surrounding neighborhoods, which are closer. The map indicates that there is only one stationary noise monitor in the Jackson Heights.

I'm not sure if it was NYS Assemblyman DenDekker, but someone also noted that the location of the stationary monitor was not near the area of the neighborhood where the bulk of the noise has landed, and suggested the NYNJPA move the monitor closer into the noise zone.

NYNJPA Mobile Noise Monitors - Complaint Driven

The New York New Jersey Port Authority [NYNJPA] also distributes mobile monitors on a temporary basis to investigate noise complaints.

When cogent and / or enough complaints come in, they send out a monitor to investigate / research the situation. The placement of the noise monitors requires an analysis of ambient noise like buses and traffic, in order to enable them to get a reliable reading of the noise level caused by the airplanes.

New York New Jersey Port Authority Webtraker Website

nynjpa webtraker websiteThe New York New Jersey Port Authority [NYNJPA] recently launched a website. I checked it out and found that it's pretty impressive. The website tracks - in delayed time of 3 to 8 minutes for security purposes - the movements of airplanes in the NYC metro area.

They also told us that periodically the information may be blanked out for security reasons.

You can file a complaint on the website. And, as they say in the video below, the more specific the information provided the more likely it is to be useful / investigated. This makes sense, as no organization these days, has the resource to go off on a wild goose chase.

Anyhow, the webtracker will help you identify which flights it may have been, that caused the noise you found objectionable. Bear in mind the security 3 to 8 minute security delay, and they urged you to provide a range of possible airplane options given the timing delay.

NYC Department of Environmental Protection - NYC DEP

3% OF BUDGET TO AIR & NOISE. Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, told us that 97% of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection budget goes to ensuring the quality of the water supply and that only 3% of the NYC DEP budget goes to addressing noise and air pollution issues.

Like NYC Councilmember Dromm, who encouraged the community to voice its concerns through complaints into his office and various government agencies [and by signing petitions], the NYC DEP representative repeated that same call for community involvement. Like the NYNJPA, he told us that the more specific the complaint, the more likely it would be investigated given resource constraints. And he courageously gave the audience his telephone number 718.595.3843 when one member of the audience asked for it.

Question & Answer Session

nynjpa mobile noise monitors lga laguardia airport airplane noiseSOUND PROOFING. There was some inquiry about the sound proofing studies. There's legislation making its way through Congress to expand the places eligible for soundproofing beyond schools.

PLANES FLYING LOWER? One member of the audience suggested that planes are flying lower, but the FAA representative told us that that isn't the case. The FAA panelist informed us that airplane elevation is regulated by law and has not changed.

He told the inquirer that if they think they're flying lower, that they should send in the complaint and the FAA will investigate because they have the information statistics for all flights. He suggested that the perception that they were flying lower may have been because they rerouted the flight paths.

RESCHEDULE WORK SO PLANES DON'T WAKE FOLKS SO EARLY WEEKEND MORNINGS. One of the issues discussed was the rescheduling of the work on the runways so that the community isn't awoken at 5.45 am on weekends - aka their days off.

The NYNJPA representative said this would disrupt the workflow ... and the audience didn't like that answer [see video]. The local officials stepped in and said it was an excellent suggestion and they would look into it.

Slide Show Of NYNJPA Director's Presentation Regarding Noise Causes, Noise Monitoring & Noise Complaint Process

Click here to view the photo album containing the presentation made by Ian R. Van Praagh of the Port Authority of New York New Jersey about LaGuardia Airport noise. TBD.

After The Meeting Research, Analysis & Conclusions

Queens Quiet Skies

queens quiet skies QUEENS QUIET SKIES. Queens Quiet Skies was mentioned by NYC Councilmember Dromm [see video] so I looked them up.

Queens Quiet Skies is a non-profit that is working to organize the Queens community so that its voice may be heard with regard to operational changes made at the airports which affect the quality of life in the Queens neighborhoods.

You can find them at www.queensquietskies.org and it's a way for you to "live the change you want to see" as Mahatma Ghandi once said.

FAA Nex Gen & No Fly Day Oct 24th

no fly day orgNO FLY DAY OCTOBER 24TH. On the Queens Quiet Skies website I found that October 24th is a multi-city rally in the United States called No Fly Day.

On this day groups in "Boston, Los Angeles / Culver City, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Diego, and Minneapolis" are planning to conduct simultaneous No Fly Day rallies on October 24th. As of this writing Queens Quiet Skies has not organized a rally citing that they hadn't found a suitable location in which to hold a rally.

According to NoFlyDay.org and confirmed by the FAA, the FAA is consolidating air traffic in the skies, along specific routes, through its NexGen implementation. This may have or likely will impact the level, type and amount of air traffic arriving and departing at LaGuardia Airport. What Nex Gen enables is a combination of greater safety but it will also allow them to add considerably more flight capacity to existing airports. According to the NoFlyDay.org website, this air traffic consolidation project is likely to continue if there's not any political intervention, and it increases the burden on those who live near the chosen paths of consolidation.

At the rallies NoFlyDay.org is asking people not to fly on October 24th - or not to fly on their next trip. Here's an copy of part of the pledge which I found on www.noflyday.org which took me to change.org website:

"In solidarity with my neighbors, I am outraged at the implementation of the FAA's NextGen program that is building an unprecedented network of aviation superhighways over our country. Once quiet neighborhoods and prized national parks have been destroyed by the FAA's consolidation of thousands of low-flying, noisy jets overhead.

no fly day nycActing unilaterally and with complete disregard for community engagement, the FAA has prioritized the profits of big business airlines over citizens on the ground. And worse, they have intentionally misled Congress and the American public that NextGen would have "no significant impact."

The reality is NextGen has robbed millions of their mental and physical health, enjoyment of their homes and communities, and trust in their government to protect their rights. And it is going to get worse--millions more across the country will suffer this fate as NextGen continues to rollout.

I pledge to not fly on October 24th, 2015 or for my next trip.

I also plan to join or support my fellow citizens on #NoFlyDay, a national protest of the FAA's NextGen implementation at events across the country."

The excerpt above is only part of the pledge on the www.change.org website.

Noisy Low Flying Airplanes

Based on my research after the meeting, it seems that important information was left out of the town hall.

low flying planes & noise in queens jackson heightsItwasn't just that the FAA is giving consideration to extending LaGuardia Airport operating hours and slots, but also that the FAA is in the process of consolidating air traffic along certain routes as mentioned above.

Also the NYNJPA is talking about eliminating the 'Perimeter Rule' for LaGuardia Airport which limits flights to distances of 1,500 miles and this was scarcely mentioned. The Perimeter Rule, in essence, limits the size of aircraft by limiting the distances they cover and as a general rule aircraft size and noise are correlated.

The residents who experienced what they perceived as more lower flying aircraft were likely correct - but possibly incorrect in that it wasn't existing aircraft flying lower than permitted. It could have been, as the FAA representative had surmised, possibly because the planes flight paths had been changed. And, specifically with respect to take offs, as take offs make the most noise. These could have been part of the NexGen changes the FAA has been making to the nation's flight traffic patterns generally, wherein they are consolidating air traffic along certain routes.

Thomas Jefferson: "Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Democracy"

LaGuardia Airport is likely to continue to grow, in spite of comments tailored to skirt that as an issue.

  • In the video, Congressman Crowley talked about the growth of LaGuardia Airport - but then said that it would not be in flights or runways [see video].
  • The FAA representative told us that temporary slots would become permanent at the airports - but then went on to tell us that this was not an increase.
  • laguardia airport hours under consideration airplane noiseAs mentioned above, I found a statement on the Federal Register website [the official journal of the federal government of the United States] stating that the FAA is considering expanding LaGuardia Airport's hours from closing at 10 pm to closing at 12 midnight. This was not mentioned at the town hall, and according to the Federal Register, added slots would be required.
  • The FAA has been making changes to flight paths around the nation, consolidating air traffic along certain routes without having to complete environmental studies which include health risks. The FAA says the reasons for the changes are safety and that the changes will enable existing airports and air traffic controllers to handle more flights.
  • Lastly, would Governor Andrew Cuomo really invest billions of dollars just to keep LaGuardia operating at its current level? Or is Governor Cuomo's multi-billion dollar investment in LGA part of a larger plan to facilitate more air and passenger traffic through LaGuardia Airport? This seems likely in light of the fact that the plans call for a more than doubling of ground space to maneuver at LaGuardia Airport.
  • It looks, smells and SOUNDS like LaGuardia Airport is on a trajectory / being positioned for future growth. LaGuardia Airport was called NYC's "front door".
  • New York City is one of the world's most popular destinations and LaGuardia Airport is NYC's most convenient landing location, so it only makes sense that LaGuardia Airport traffic will continue to grow. And most of the city likely wants LaGuardia Airport to grow because it's good for the local economy. But the side effects of that growth must be respectfully managed by the FAA & NYNJPA in consideration of their surrounding Queens neighbors. And respectfully generally includes keeping the community fully informed.

Certainties in Life: Death, Taxes & Change - so be Prepared

While the temporary burst in noise levels in Jackson Heights will abate at the end of November 2015, there are likely to be goal alignment issues between the FAA, the New York New Jersey Port Authority [NYNYPA is the operator of LaGuardia Airport] and the surrounding Queens' neighborhoods on an ongoing basis.

And in covering this story it appears that big changes are afoot at LaGuardia Airport and in the NYC Metro skies over the next five years.

The Whole Picture & Inclusive Dialogue

It seems that the surrounding Queens communities should not only be informed about the big changes that will affect their neighborhoods, but also included in discussions regarding the implementation of the big changes, which are taking place, literally in their own backyards, and happening now. The purpose of including residents in the entire process is to identify negative impacts on the neighborhood and find ways to mitigate them.

congressman joseph crowley queens photoThe challenge for Queens and NYC elected officials is that the FAA is a federal agency governing the skies throughout the nation, and that the New York New Jersey Port Authority is a two-state agency. The nature of these agencies' governance makes it more challenging for local officials to directly influence these agencies to course correct on their initiatives.

The list of issues which may impact the community, include: 1) air traffic consolidation / growth [NexGen air traffic consolidation], 2) the FAA's consideration of increasing LaGuardia's hours of operation and with it an increase in slots, 3) the impact of the airplane slot growth by making the temporary slots permanent, 4) the status of talks to repeal the Perimter Rule [limits LGA flights to 1,500 miles] and 5) whatever else is out there that we haven't yet heard about like all of the LaGuardia Airport upggrade construction and the attendant noise that that may bring.

The proposed Airport Community Roundtable(s) is expected to provide a process for ongoing interaction between the NYNJPA and the community. And this should help - assuming the Roundtable is populated with real representatives of the community - and not just hand picked political operatives.

And in any case, it seems the community as a whole needs to stay vigilant and organized, separately from - but in collaboration with - the established political infrastructure. Right now it seems Queens Quiet Skies has taken a leading role in that part of the process [www.queensquietskies.org] in collaboration with NY City Councilmember Daniel Dromm.

U.S. Congressman Crowley & Grace Meng have been working at the Federal level to thwart efforts by the New York New Jersey Port Authority to repeal the 1985 Perimeter Rule regulation which currently requires flights into and out of LaGuardia Airport to be 1,500 miles or less.

LaGuardia Airport Noise - Pluses & Minuses of a Huge Employer

There are definitely benefits to having LaGuardia Airport [and JFK Airport] in Queens, and based on my interviews with the audience afterwards, most folks are happy to have them here. But there are also some significant costs or tradeoffs to having LaGuardia Airport in Queens, which is why the audience came out in droves to this town hall meeting on a beautiful Fall day.

daniel drom photo letitia james pa nyc photoThere's likely to be tensions between residents, homeowners and the airport, but with the right attitudes, balanced and honest leadership, and the establishment of mechanisms for dialogue and compromise - there's no reason why the interested parties can't work together to maximize the benefits of LGA, minimize the costs that come with hosting LGA, and find win / win scenarios for the government agencies [the NYNJPA airport operator & FAA] and the surrounding neighborhoods.

These town halls are valuable as a means for the neighborhood to become more familiar and engaged with one of the borough's largest employers, largest landholders, a large indirect generator of taxes and based on what I heard on Sunday - its biggest noisemaker.

A small example of a positive outcome arising out of a heated dialogue is shown in the video during the last few minutes of the town hall. Good can come out of a heated, but respectful, debate. The question is whether there's the political will to have the NYNJPA pay more and take longer to complete its construction projects in order to let the Jacskon Heights neighborhood sleep in, over the coming weekends.

Government officials, the FAA and the NYNJPA took a solid second step in meeting with the community on Sunday [the first step was the town hall nearly two years ago Nov 25, 2013] and many folks told me that, although frustrated, they were appreciative of the effort.

Democracy Only Works If "We The People" Inform Ourselves, Organize & Take Action

Yes, these town halls are a start. But the cynical comment made by the audience member referenced at the beginning of this story returned to me, as we were informed that a future town hall on this subject had not been scheduled.

The establishment and strengthening of the interaction between the FAA, the NYNJPA, and the community should continue to grow as an important community priority, as it has begun to emerge over the past few years. It appears there's far more work to be done, given the FAA changes that are already underway or under consideration, and the airport upgrade that will begin early next year if approved.

To File Airplane Noise Complaints in Queens NYC. To complain about plane noise, be specific as to the time, location and description of the noise [this is specified in the video]. You can file complaints with the LaGuardia Airport operator NYNJPA at http://www.planenoise.com or you can file a complaint at the webtracker website referenced above and shown here: www.panynj.gov/airports/webtrak.html. The NYC complaints appear to go to the same location / database and here's a toll free telephone number for friends and family that may not use the web 1-800-225-1071.

Thanks & Appreciation

Many thanks to NYS Senator Peralta for organizing the event. And to Carmine Galllo of the FAA, Ian R. Van Praagh of the NYNJPA, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin of the NYC DEP, U.S. Congressman Crowley, Public Advocate Letitia James, NYC Councilmember Dromm, and Assemblymen Moya and DenDekker.

And lastly, but not least, to all the people who filled the PS 69 Auditorium because they are interested, concerned and involved in their community. That includes you, because you got this far in reading / scanning the article. You may also find the video of interest.

Queens Quiet Skies Volunteer Op Ed Piece. Brian F. Will of Queens Quiet Skies wrote a letter to the editor in response to seeing this report. It includes some good graphics to help folks visualize some of the efforts currently underway regarding the FAA and airplane noise in NYC.

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