Bayside gets closer to FAA roundtable

Bayside gets closer to FAA roundtable
Photo by Christina Santucci
By Philip Corso

The northeast Queens group of activists set on silencing airplane noise over their communities has made headway in establishing an aviation roundtable with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Janet McEneaney, president of the Bayside-based Queens Quiet Skies, said the FAA has agreed to participate in the establishment of an aviation roundtable for the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area, which governs some of the busiest airspace throughout the country.

The group has spent the better part of the past six months drafting a memorandum of understanding — similar to an aviation rule book — to create an aviation roundtable to help involve area residents in the FAA and Port Authority’s decision-making.

“The FAA and Port Authority have agreed to participate, with the understanding that some membership issues still need to be worked out,” she said. “The new organization will give us a voice at the table in aviation decisions.”

The first aviation roundtable was attempted in California three decades ago, McEneaney said, and has since been adopted nationwide except for the Northeast. Each roundtable essentially forms its own board of members with an equal vote and abides by pre-determined bylaws, she said.

McEneaney said elected officials from every level of government, including U.S. Reps. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and Steve Israel (D-Melville), state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside), came out in support of the roundtable, one of Queens Quiet Skies’ core goals when it was established last year in northeast Queens.

Their support has been consistent throughout Queens Quiet Skies’ push to have more community input in the FAA’s decision-making process since last year, when the movement began.

The FAA changed some of the departure and arrival routes at nearby LaGuardia Airport in 2012, making way for a harsh spike in airliner noise complaints. Elected officials in northeast Queens have since been pressing both the FAA and Port Authority to conduct a more thorough study of how new routes affect neighboring communities, but have yet to reach that goal.

Queens Quiet Skies will be traveling throughout the borough and Nassau County in the coming weeks with community presentations starting this week. Next week they will be speaking at the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners Association Oct. 24 and also visiting College Point at the end of the month, McEneaney said.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4573.

More from Around New York