Two new devices to monitor airplane noise

By Juan Soto

The Port Authority, the state agency that manages both JFK and LaGuardia airports, will install new airplane noise monitors in the borough. The devices will provide data on the aircraft noise impact on communities in the flight paths of both airports.

“These additional noise monitors are great news in our continued fight against the blistering airplane noise that continues to ruin the quality of the life throughout our borough,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who requested the new monitors in a letter sent to the Port Authority and to the Federal Aviation Administration. “The devices will allow officials to get precise and accurate readings on how levels of aircraft noise affect our neighborhoods.”

One of the new monitors was installed on top of a residential building in downtown Flushing, neighborhood affected by low-flying airplane traffic to LaGuardia.

Meng said the other device will be located in Maspeth or Middle Village. The Port Authority is evaluating several locations, and Meng said the agency will make a determination sometime this month.

Residents living around Kennedy Airport and LaGuardia Airport have been fighting to curb the increasing number of airplanes flying over their neighborhoods since about two years ago, when the U.S. Senate passed the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization bill allowing the FAA to switch from a radar to a satellite-control traffic control system.

The GPS technology brought a new flight pattern into effect with more planes landing and taking off.

“We appreciate all new noise monitors placed in the New York City metro area,” said Janet McEneaney, president of Queens Quiet Skies, a civic organization calling to mitigate aircraft noise. “They bring more openness and clarity, they allow all residents to see the impact of flight procedures on the quality of life in their communities.”

Meng along with fellow U.S. Reps. Steve Israel (D-Melville), Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) and Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) established the Quiet Skies Caucus with other lawmakers a few months ago to have a common voice in Washington to fight airplane noise. The congressional caucus also includes congressmen from California, Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts and Minnesota.

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) was one of the first elected politicians to speak against the increasing airplane noise.

McEneaney wants the public to use the Port Authority’s new Webtrak website to follow flights into and out of LaGuardia and JFK airports. The website allows the user to “watch noise levels in decibels of each flight as it passes over a noise monitor” McEneaney said.

Borough residents can also file noise complaints online.

“Since the Port Authority is making a continuing investment in noise monitors, we hope the next step will be to use the data constructively and get some real improvement,” McEneaney said.

Reach reporter Juan Soto by e-mail at jsoto‌@cngl‌ocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.