The skies around LaGuardia Airport are a little less noisy today, as Delta Airlines has stopped flying one particularly loud plane in its fleet into and out of northern Queens.
Delta announced on Thursday that it has ceased using MD-88 (McDonnell Douglas) jets on a scheduled basis at LaGuardia Airport, as Reuters reported. The carrier is instead using a combination of Airbus A320, Boeing 737 and MD-90 planes, all of which are considered less noisy than the MD-88.
The removal of the MD-88 affects about 30 flights out of LaGuardia daily, according to a statement from Delta.
“We’re committed to providing our customers an exceptional flying experience when traveling through New York airports while also considering our responsibility to the communities where we live and serve,” said Henry Kuykendall, Delta’s Vice President – New York. “Delta flights on quieter, more efficient and larger aircraft are good for the community and will also support NextGen initiatives around more fuel-efficient GPS routes in New York airspace, the most congested in the world.”
Congresswoman Grace Meng and Congressman Joe Crowley applauded Delta’s decision in a press release on March 2.
“I am thrilled over Delta’s decision to use quieter airplanes at LaGuardia, and I applaud the airline for being responsive to the needs of Queens residents,” Meng said. “Delta’s move will have a positive impact on airplane noise over our borough, and it will make a difference to those who reside near the airport.”
Meng is one of a number of local lawmakers actively working to reduce airplane noise over Queens; in Congress, she is the founder of the Quiet Skies Caucus, a group of lawmakers from across the nation dedicated toward addressing problems caused by aircraft noise.
“It is a move that is not just about improving the quality of the traveling experience but also about improving the quality of life for New Yorkers on the ground,” said Crowley, whose district includes LaGuardia Airport. “While airplanes can never be truly silent, we can work to make them less disruptive to the families who live nearby and I applaud Delta for taking steps toward that goal.”
Senator Charles Schumer, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland also approved of the measure.
The removal of the MD-88 is part of Delta’s ongoing efforts to upgrade its fleet of aircraft nationwide. The new planes, being upgraded through 2018, feature what the company calls “state-of-the-art efficiency and engine decibel performance.”