By Bill Parry
Residents who live along the flight paths into and out of LaGuardia Airport will not be pleased to know that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is considering lifting the “perimeter rule,” a regulation in place since 1984 that limits the size of planes using the airfield. Currently longer flights of more than 1,500 miles away have to land at Newark or Kennedy.
“It’s a possibility. A study’s being done,” Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye said. “One thing we’ve assured the public is that we will do a public comment period which will be extensive. Members of the public (and) industry players will be able to comment.”
Foye made the startling admission following a Port Authority Board decision last Thursday to delay a vote on the massive reconstruction of LaGuardia Airport until next month. The cost of the redesign has grown from $4 billion to $4.2 billion, according to the board resolutions.
“There are a myriad issues involved, and the board should be entitled to more time to review the resolutions,” Port Authority Chairman John Degnan said.
Bypassing the perimeter rule would help cover the ballooning costs of the reconstruction by increasing customer traffic on more expensive flights. Longer flights translates to larger and noisier planes.
“I’d file that under the ridiculous ideas claim,” state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) said in an interview at the TimesLedger offices Monday. “You’re going to have a lot of people troubled, including me.”
Stavisky explained that the board for the Port Authority is “controlled by the state Senate. She serves on both the Senate’s Transportation Committee and the Finance Committee.
“And we always ask a lot of questions,” she said.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr