Howard Beach and south Queens residents call for stricter jet noise rules

A plane flying over Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach.
Photo via YouTube/michael k

It’s something Howard Beach residents experience every day: low-flying airplanes approaching the runways of John F. Kennedy Airport that sound as if they’re about to land on their rooftops.

While acknowledging little can be done to stop the traffic, one local lawmaker is pressing the Federal Aviation Administration to tighten airplane noise rules and give residents of the neighborhood and surrounding communities in southern Queens a better standard of living.

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder recently made the request in a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. Goldfeder called on the agency to reduce the current average airplane noise thresholds from 65 Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL) to 55 DNL. The DNL measures a 24-hour equivalent sound level experienced by a household living near an airport. Monitors calculate the noise generated by plane engines throughout the day.

At 65 DNL, according to FAA guidelines, residents experience “significant impact” from such levels of airplane noise. Goldfeder warned the noise would likely grow even louder as airline carriers upgrade their fleets to include larger jets with louder engines.

“JFK may not be going anywhere, but this doesn’t mean the state and federal governments can’t take steps to improve the quality of life for our families,” Goldfeder said. He noted that he worked last year to secure noise monitors from areas of Broad Channel and Bayswater in the Rockaways, and that he is active with efforts by the FAA and Port Authority in an official airplane noise study.

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