‘We can’t sleep’: new study sheds light on Queens airplane noise and house sales correlation

Photo: Nuno Lopez via Flickr Creative Commons

As noise from LaGuardia and JFK Airports continues bombard homes, a new study from Localize Labs completed a countdown of the 20 neighborhoods most effected in the city with 16 of those communities being in Queens.

The constant disruptions on the ground from approach and departure vectors introduced by FAA in 2012 caused an uprising of residents on the ground who have been advocating for relief for years.

Last Year, a study from Columbia University showed that the anxiety and depression likely caused by airplane noise could be taking a year of life off of residents. Now, Localize Labs is claiming that it could be affecting home listings as well.

Brookville, Howard Beach and Flushing had 96 percent, 88 percent and 66 percent of homes respectively listed in noise-burdened zones. This depicts a pattern of people leaving for greener pastures.

Janet McEneaney, a founder of Queens Quiet Skies, said she moved to Bayside 25 years ago to get away from the din of the city.

“We can’t sleep. Our kids can’t study,” McEneaney said. “If you’ve ever had a really bad earache or toothache, that’s what it feels like. While it’s happening, you can’t think about anything else and you just want it to go away.”

McEneaney claims she gets letters from other residents who say they are settling elsewhere for a little peace and quiet.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo said the issue is the encouraged him to act on it through legislation in Albany, having introduced a bill on Friday that will enforce further studies into the effects of airplane noise.

“Communities in areas around JFK and LaGuardia airports have experienced a declining quality of life as a result of noise pollution and possibly other ill effects from air traffic patterns,” Addabbo said. “Noise complaints in affected neighborhoods have skyrocketed due to changing air traffic patterns and too many planes flying on low approaches to these airports. Through this study, we hope to develop a comprehensive plan to address these issues so the neighborhoods can experience a better quality of life now and in the future.”

According to Addabbo, the bill will ask the Department of Environment Conservation to monitor noise levels throughout 2020 and 2021.

Leaders within the Federal Aviation Administration gave members of the LGA Airport Committee a vindicating dose of confirmation when they informed resident lead roundtable that the TNNIS climb out of LaGuardia Airport, a departure route established in 2012, had been over utilized.

The FAA told residents that the departure route will now only be used when airspace between LaGuardia and JFK is full and for other safety reasons.

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