Queens residents fighting feds over airplane noise that turned some suburban neighborhoods into veritable warzones last summer have won a small battle.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has agreed to form a committee to review the decision-making process it used last December when the agency approved new flight patterns over the borough.
The new routes adhere to a required three-mile separation between planes arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport and planes taking off from LaGuardia Airport’s runway 13 while using a new, precise navigation system, FAA officials said.
But during a six-month trial period last year, some residents said they suffered from a barrage of low-flying airplanes that soared over their homes every minute of two six-hour stretches a day.
Forming the committee “is a move in the right direction,” said Congressmember Grace Meng.
“Although more still needs to be done, this is a positive move that can hopefully have an effect on the increased airplane noise that Queens residents have been forced to endure,” Meng said.
The FAA said there would be fewer planes flying overhead this summer, but there could be times residents will hear the same turbulence they did last summer and fall.
Meng and Congressmember Steve Israel sent a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in February asking him to consider the borough’s concerns.
A group of elected officials from Queens met with FAA officials in Washington, D.C. to hash out a plan.
“I hope it results in a more balanced plan that will alleviate the noise pollution for our constituents,” Israel said.
FAA officials agreed during a March town hall meeting to involve the community in future decisions and to continue hearing them out.