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Avella, Northeast Queens Residents Blast FAA for Flight Pattern

Senator says agency never consulted public or elected officials prior to testing new departure pattern from LaGuardia.

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.”

DANIELA ADDEO August 24, 2012 at 06:38 PM
I live on 215th street in Bayside, Queens. The noise caused by aircrafts taking off from La Guardia airport became in the last 4 months unbearable. It starts at ~ 6:15 AM and continues all day to past 11PM. The aircrafts come at 30-60 seconds interval. We live under an extremely noisy “corridor”. I measured the noise level with my decibel meter and it frequently reaches 75-80 decibels. We cannot use the backyard due to noise; we cannot have a normal conversation in our home. As a practicing physician I am aware of the negative impact of this continuous noise on our hearing acuity and on our psychologic well being. I called the Port Authority hotline (but obviously Port Authority of NY and NJ does not take complaints seriously) and I was planning to start writing to our local politicians and contact environmental experts (starting with Columbia University, where I work). I am happy to see Mr. Avella and Mr. Braustein involved and I would like to join the group from Bayside fighting this abuse inflicted by Port Authority. Daniela Addeo, MD
Wideimaging August 25, 2012 at 05:58 AM
The good news is that this diminishes the marketability of a 17 story residential tower directly under the LGA flight path and directly aligned with runway 13/31; as would be the case for demolishing the historic RKO Keith's Theatre to build 357 market rate mini-apartments in lightly populated downtown Flushing.
Arthur J caputo August 25, 2012 at 12:55 PM
The good news is that the best politician in New York is trying to do something about it. Run for Mayor Avella,.give us a breath of fresh air.
Harriet Brown August 25, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Unfortunately, yesterday, the television stations were filled with the Empire State Building shooting. So, this story didn't get any coverage.
s johnson August 25, 2012 at 07:54 PM
every 30-60 seconds for low flying planes in such a densely populated area is an irresponsible move in the part of the FAA, especially without public notice and input. the FAA should already know that just because they ignore our comments, we in northeast queens will not go away. we will continue to voice our discontent until they listen.
jian August 26, 2012 at 05:58 AM
See the article from NYT in 1994 about the flight patterns in Laguadia airport: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/04/24/nyregion/neighborhood-report-la-guardia-airport-trial-flight-plans-sharing-the-noise.html
James Lin August 28, 2012 at 09:36 PM
As stated in the description of the YouTube video: Elena Maroulleti, Host and Executive Producer of AKTINA FM (91.5FM WNYE NY), discusses the sudden increase of air traffic over Bayside New York, among other communities, with New York State Senator Tony Avella and Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece. The FAA unilaterally decided to test a new departure route from LaGuardia Airport and has refused to discuss the matter with officials or residents. They may make the route permanent. The air traffic noise pollution has disturbed, dismayed, and angered residents. Watch this radio interview that was also featured on AKTINA TV. Plane nuts! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIhfP2lafMM&feature=relmfu We all need to be united in this fight and submit a formal complaint!
Sue Schaffel October 16, 2012 at 01:16 PM
This change in the flight pattern from LaGuardia is destroying my well-being and mental health. I work in the medical field, and needless to say, sleep is a coveted commodity. Having aircrafts flying directly over my home at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning is literally ripping apart my family (not to mention our ability to function at work). My family cannot sit outdoors and enjoy the weather - we cannot leave windows open, and the worse part of this is that we need to keep the air-conditioners on in the bedrooms at night so as to not be awakened by the airplanes which fly at 30 - 60 second intervals at start at or before 6:00 a.m. Something must be done about this intolerable situation.

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