Elected officials will finally be able to voice concerns on airplane noise over northeast Queens resulting from a new LaGuardia Airport flight pattern.
State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, said he and state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, D-Bayside, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, D-Flushing, and a representative from U.S. Rep. Steve Israel’s, D-Melville, office will meet with the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday to discuss the flight pattern.
“I think they recognize that residents have been greatly affected,” Avella said. “Their quality of life has been diminished significantly. It is changing from a quiet residential community to living next to an airport. If the FAA doesn’t back off, they’ll have the fight of their life on their hands.”
Early last summer, northeast Queens residents began complaining about continuous noise from low-flying planes over the community.
Elected officials said the FAA had told them there would be a comment period for residents, but that it never occurred. In late 2012, they said it appeared that the flight pattern had been made permanent.
Avella, Braunstein and Meng held a protest of the flight pattern in Bayside in December.
The three legislators will meet with the FAA’s regional director on Friday. At that time, they will ask about the status of the flight pattern and why community input was never solicited.
Avella said it has taken months to secure a meeting with the agency.
“I don’t know if it’s been stalling on their part or a matter of getting people together,” he said. “There are a lot of unanswered questions. I don’t think they’ve taken any community input. Nobody knew they could give input. This is going to be a key meeting to see what their position is and where we go from here.”
In the meantime, Avella said it has been difficult to tell whether there have been changes to the flight pattern from LaGuardia’s Runway 13.
“It’s hard to tell,” he said. “Some people tell me it’s as bad as it was. Some say there’s a slight improvement. It doesn’t seem to be the consistent pattern we saw in the beginning. But this doesn’t mean the test is over or that they’ve fully implemented the pattern yet.”
Drop by Bayside Douglaston Patch for a follow-up on the meeting with the FAA.