Photo by Bianca Fortis
By Bianca Fortis

Queens is getting a new system for monitoring noise from area airports, officials from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey said last week.

State Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth) called a meeting Nov. 6 at Maspeth Town Hall for officials from the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration to address longstanding complaints about noise from airplanes flying into and out of LaGuardia and Kennedy International airports.

Residents came from Woodside, Middle Village, Maspeth, Elmhurst, Woodside and Jackson Heights for the meeting.

Edward Knoesel, manager of the Port Authority’s environmental services aviation department, announced a new Airport Noise and Operations Monitoring System is in the process of being implemented throughout the borough.

Knoesel said the new system will provide more accurate and current information and the data logs will be available within 24 hours. The old system has a four-day lag time.

At the end of the year, a public website will be launched that will track flights, monitor noise decibel readings, provide runway closure announcements and allow city residents to file noise complaints, Knoesel said.

The Port Authority will keep 10 years of data that have been obtained through the old system.

Members of the community say airplane noise pollution has been louder, lower and more frequent than in the past, especially over the summer.

Roe Daraio, president of Communities of Maspeth & Elmhurst Together, a civic group, said at times the planes are so loud they sound like they are about to land on the roofs of homes. She has experienced her house vibrating, she said.

“Our windows shake,” she said. “By 1 o’clock, I’m taking aspirin — and that’s when I’m in the house with my windows closed.”

Some residents said that they have been awakened late at night because of aircraft noise.

Knoesel said there are no restrictions to what time a plane can fly, although airlines generally operate the planes between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 a.m.

Over the summer some airlines choose to land later flights if the flights have been delayed, according to Mark Guiod, manager of the FAA’s New York Terminal Radar Approach Control. Some land as late as 2 a.m.

Knoesel said residents all around Queens suffer from the noise. Authorities must balance complaints along with maintaining operations of the airports that are part of the busiest airspace in the world, he said.

He said La Guardia airlines are beginning to replace some older, louder planes, which should help address the noise issue.

“The geographical area of who is being exposed to and experiencing that noise is shrinking, it’s getting smaller,” he said. “The planes are changing out, and these planes are a lot quieter than what they used to be. There’s no more 707s, there’s no more 727s — those things were really very, very loud.”

To log complaints, call 1-800-225-1071. Complaints can also be submitted through planenoise.com/panynj/daPRAbf9.

Information about Queens Quiet Skies, a nonprofit that advocates for relief from airplane noise for all Queens residents, is available at queensquietskies.org. The group can be contacted at queensquietskies@aol.com.

Reach reporter Bianca Fortis by email at bfortis@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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