Lawmaker passes bill codifying LaGuardia Perimeter Rule in an effort to reduce airplane noise in northeast Queens

Courtesy of LaGuardia Gateway Partners

A Queens lawmaker recently announced the passage of legislation that would continue to curb airplane noise that plagues the northeast portion of the borough.

Known as NY State Senate Bill S311 and sponsored by Senator John Liu, the bill codifies the LaGuardia Perimeter Rule, an existing restriction that bars nonstop flights beyond 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) from traveling to or from LaGuardia Airport. Exceptions to the rule include Saturday trips and flights to Denver, Colorado.

Simple Flying reported that LaGuardia had implemented a version of the restriction during the 1950s, which allowed flights up to 2,000 miles to operate in and out of the airport. But due to concerns of airport overcrowding and overutilization, managers at LaGuardia changed the rule to only allow travel to cities within 1,500 miles in 1984.

“Significant measures must be taken to reduce airplane noise over Queens, often so bad that you can’t hear yourself think,” Senator Liu said. “Beyond the disruption to work, leisure and sleep, studies show that continued aircraft noise can cause health problems such as cardiovascular disease and anxiety disorders in the human body. We advance this legislation to send a strong message that the LaGuardia Perimeter Rule is not to be tinkered with. I will continue working with Assemblyman Ed Braunstein to ensure its full passage into law.”

When LaGuardia began its recent expansion and development, residents feared that the perimeter rule would be lifted. The codification of the bill would ensure that northeast Queens residents would be free from the noise caused by heavier planes used for long-haul flights, which fly closer to the ground for longer upon takeoff.

“The New York Community Aviation Roundtable (NYCAR) welcomes New York state making the LGA Airport Perimeter Rule permanent,” said Warren Schreiber, co-chair of New York Community Aviation Roundtable. “Codifying the perimeter rule will improve the quality of life for residents living under a flight path. Long-distance flights would require heavier planes flying at a lower altitude and would increase airplane noise over residential areas. A big thank you to Senator John Liu and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein for taking the lead on this issue.”

The codification of the perimeter rule is one of many attempts to reduce airplane noise over northeast Queens.

In the past, lawmakers have called on the Federal Aviation Administration to study the effects of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), which would create new flight paths like LaGuardia’s Tennis Climb route. Residents reported that the new route, touted as a “solution to modernize the nation’s air transportation system,” actually increased airplane noise in the area.

“I fully support the perimeter rule remaining in effect, and thank Senator Liu and Assemblyman Braunstein for their leadership on this issue,” Jena Lanzetta, president of Northwest Bayside Civic Association said. “We must take all measures of noise mitigation quite seriously, to bring quality of life back to those living under a flight path. Noise caused by loud, low-flying airplanes, and jet fuel pollution, are a detriment to public health, and would only be exacerbated by even lower-flying, larger, heavier aircraft. The perimeter rule must remain in tact. It is time the FAA stops putting airline profits over people on the ground.”

Assemblyman Edward Braunstein is sponsoring this bill in the Assembly and it is currently in committee.