Under Siege

As I write this, I am fighting back tears, as I do daily now. My nerves are raw and I am in a constant state of heightened anxiety. I am a lifelong resident of Flushing and my quality of life has been ruined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Last December, with zero community input, the FAA unilaterally approved new departure routes from LaGuardia Airport, without conducting any kind of environmental study. It implemented these new routes after a six month testing period from February to August 2012, during which thousands of residents of northeast Queens vehemently protested to no avail.

As a result of the FAA’s actions, a typical day in the life of a resident of Flushing, Auburndale, Bayside, Douglaston and all areas of northeast Queens consists of loud, low-flying airplanes overhead every minute (sometimes every 30 seconds) from 6 a.m. until midnight or later. This constant disruption occurs daily, with no relief. Opening one’s windows or sitting on one’s terrace is out of the question. Enjoying a stroll in the neighborhood park is a pipe dream. Sleep is difficult to come by, especially for elderly residents. Children are frightened by the constant barrage of noisy aircraft. Headaches are the norm. The list of mental and physical ailments caused by this bombardment is endless.

We, the people of northeast Queens, feel like we are under siege. Our rights have been violated. The decision to turn our neighborhoods into an extended runway of LGA was made without our consent and, for many people, without their knowledge. We are also the most densely populated area of Queens. More and more people move to Flushing every year. No thought was given by the FAA, which purports to “reach the next level of safety, efficiency, environmental responsibility and global leadership,” to the effect its cruel and short-sighted decision would have on the hard-working people of this area. We deserve better.

We DEMAND better!

Susan Carroll Flushing

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