BY JOSH TOWNER
Several provisions in a new law that the president signed this month aim to reduce noise over the skies of Queens and Long Island.
Congressman Tom Suozzi announced that he secured several provisions in the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act, which the president signed into law Oct. 5. The provisions are designed to lower the amount of noise pollution over his district, which covers northeast Queens, northern Nassau and northwestern Suffolk counties.
“The people of Long Island and Queens deserve to live in peace and quiet,” Suozzi said. “Today, we are taking another step closer to mitigating aircraft noise and improving quality of life for those impacted by incessant aircraft noise.”
The new legislation will require a multitude of actions from the FAA, most of which are research related. The FAA will explore measuring sound in different ways, leading to new studies on the impact of air traffic noise on communities and residents in terms of health and economics. The studies will also look into phasing out the loudest planes. The FAA will review its community involvement policies and appoint a new community ombudsman to meet with local community leaders and navigate conflicts.
Additionally, the new legislation will enforce the new, alternative North Shore Helicopter Route, which will reduce flights by an estimated 50 percent and keep remaining flights at a much higher altitude. Airport operators must also submit noise exposure maps when a change in noise levels is expected.
Suozzi is the co-chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, a group of 41 Representatives seeking to raise awareness of aircraft noise and make meaningful solutions.