Northeast Queens leaders said they have been told by the Federal Aviation Administration to expect an update in upcoming weeks on a new route out of LaGuardia Airport that has resulted in planes constantly flying over Bayside and Douglaston.
Residents in the two communities have been complaining for the past few months that planes have been flying low over their neighborhoods every few minutes. And, in August, state Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, held a press conference during which he called on the FAA to discontinue the flight pattern.
Now, spokesmen for Avella and state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, D-Bayside, have said that the FAA’s test period for the flight pattern should soon be wrapping up.
“The latest from the FFA is that they should be finished studying the results of their testing within the next few weeks,” said David Fischer, a spokesman for Braunstein. “They will then provide our office with an update.”
In the meantime, the assemblyman has repeatedly tried to set up with a meeting with the agency, but to no avail, as well as reached out to U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-Bayside, and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
Xavier San Miguel, a spokesman for Avella, said the senator was also attempting to set up a sit-down with the FAA once the test pattern was completed.
“Sen. Avella met with the FAA on Sept. 6 and expressed his and the community’s concerns over the airplane noise,” he said. “The FAA subsequently agreed to a follow-up meeting to respond to these concerns and we are in the process of arranging this meeting.”
Meanwhile, local residents have also been stepping up their own initiatives to combat the airplane noise.
Eliott Socci, president of the Douglaston Civic Association, said he planned to bring up discussion on how to handle the matter at his group’s upcoming meeting.
“I’ve noticed the routes have changed drastically,” he said. “There are planes going in directions I’ve never seen before. They are flying over Douglaston from east to west. The FAA has to answer the question of what’s going on.”
And Community Board 11 member Janet McEneaney led a discussion last week at the Bay Terrace Diner on how members of that community should bring their concerns about the flight pattern to the attention of the FAA.
"This is a concern for people in Queens," McEneaney said. "Our property values will certainly go down if this is permanent."
She said Bayside residents will be at the community's Long Island Rail Road station on Wednesday to hand out flyers on the matter. McEneaney said Bayside residents can email her with complaints on airplane noise at firstname.lastname@example.org.