More than 50 local residents joined state Sen. Tony Avella in Bayside Friday to call on the Federal Aviation Administration to discontinue a .
Earlier this summer, Avella, D-Bayside, and state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, D-Bayside, began about low-flying planes from LaGuardia Airport.
But Avella said he and Braunstein have repeatedly attempted to set up a meeting with the FAA over the matter, but to no avail.
“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,” Avella said. “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.”
The legislators said the FAA, which could not be reached for comment, had also not provided information on how to voice complaints about the flight pattern.
“It’s unacceptable and infuriating,” Braunstein said. “You can’t keep your windows open or have a phone conversation. We want clear answers from the FAA.”
Jerry Iannece, chairman of , said the low-flying planes are disturbing residents in a number of communities, including Bayside, Bay Terrace, Douglaston, Little Neck, Flushing, Fresh Meadows and Whitestone.
Civic leaders said they had also been getting flooded with calls from angry residents.
“There is no rhyme or reason for what they are doing,” said Warren Schreiber, president of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance, of the FAA. “They are not telling us what the end game is, but they are totally disrupting life in northeast Queens. The airlines have been charging us for baggage and food, so we shouldn’t be giving them a free ride.”
Several Bay Terrace residents said the consistency of the flights over their community was maddening.
“It’s driving me crazy,” resident Donna Gitler said. “It happens every two minutes. It’s awful. I can’t talk on the phone or sit outside on my patio. I feel invaded.”
Some residents said they were concerned that if the new flight pattern were permanently adopted, they might have difficulty selling their properties. Others said the low-flying planes caused safety concerns.
“I have a 95-year-old uncle who is a decorated war veteran,” resident Janet Albertini said. “He calls me crying ‘we’re being attacked’ because it sounds like the planes are coming through the window. It’s scary.”