FAA Suspends Aircraft Noise Regulations

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Rep. Tom Suozzi with local village mayors and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick at the press conference on June 17. (Photo courtesy of Tom Suozzi’s office)

Construction at one of John F. Kennedy International Airport’s (JFK) four runways have caused flight paths to be redirected, leading to an increase in aircraft traffic and noise in communities such as Jericho, Roslyn, Williston Park and Old Brookville. During a press conference on June 17, Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) announced new regulations, which would help to potentially reduce this problem. But late Tuesday evening, officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the implementation of two air traffic procedures for the flights arriving at JFK would be postponed.

“The FAA will coordinate with stakeholders before it makes any decision to implement them,” the FAA stated in an email to The Roslyn News.

The first of the regulations required that all planes west of Deer Park in Suffolk County fly at an increased altitude at or above 4,000 feet. The second regulation required planes to maintain an altitude of 3,000 feet on their final approach until they are within 15 miles of JFK, when the parallel runway is not being used for landing (22R). These steps were set to take place on June 24 and would’ve been in effect 24 hours a day.

“This is another example of how the broken bureaucracy of the FAA refuses to implement changes that actually help alleviate the air traffic noise problem faced by people on the ground,” said Suozzi. “These new procedures did not fix the entire problem, but they would provide some relief from the incessant noise of low flying planes. The FAA must expedite their review and implement these already agreed upon procedures immediately.”
When asked for further information regarding the halt placed on these procedures, a representative from the FAA replied, “We are not saying anything beyond what’s in our statement.”

Although the FAA has not stated if or when these procedures will take effect, the New York State Assembly passed a bill (S5855) on June 20 to conduct a study on the environmental, noise and human health impacts of JFK and LaGuardia airports. This bill directs the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to begin these studies effective immediately. Plane Sense 4 LI, a community group that works to reduce air traffic and noise pollution, worked together with local government officials from Nassau County to help support this bill, which will now be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office for approval.

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