Northeast Queens leaders blasted the Federal Aviation Administration’s intention to continue a flight pattern that has resulted in planes consistently flying over Bayside and Douglaston.
Last summer, residents of the two communities joined local elected officials to complain that planes were flying low over northeast Queens every few minutes after the FAA instituted a new route out of LaGuardia Airport.
State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, and other community leaders said they were upset to find out this week that the flight pattern will remain in effect.
“Frankly, it’s a disgrace that the FAA has decided to go ahead with these departure changes, which will have a profound effect on the residents in northeast Queens, without the proper input from the community,” Avella said. My office continues to hear from homeowners who are irate at this abrupt increase in air traffic over their homes, which is causing an intolerable amount of noise pollution. Any new flight patterns need to be properly evaluated to determine the impact on the quality of life for residents. In this case, the FAA has decided to disregard the voice of the people.”
The FAA could not immediately be reached for comment.
David Fischer, a spokesman for state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, D-Bayside, said the assemblyman and Avella would hold a rally to protest the flight pattern at 11 a.m. on Dec. 15 in front of 38-50 Bell Blvd.
Earlier this year, the elected officials were told by the FAA that the flight pattern would be tested and completed within six months. Additionally, the agency told them that comments from the public would be solicited if the flight pattern were to be made permanent.
Last summer, Avella and Braunstein joined a number of community leaders and residents for a protest of the new route.
Avella said he was recently informed that the FAA performed an environmental review of the route following the six-month trial period. He said it appears that the agency is now continuing to allow the flight pattern.
Janet McEneaney, a member of Community Board 11 who has led a local charge to prevent the route from becoming permanent, said she was greatly upset to hear that the flight pattern would continue.
“My immediate response is that it is shocking that a federal agency would go ahead and take action that would materially alter the lives of so many people who are taxpayers without ever giving them notice or a seat at the table of these decisions,” she said. “It’s a slap in the face.”