Albany, NY - March 24, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the Port Authority to take a multifaceted, comprehensive series of actions in coordination with local communities to address noise issues at its New York City airports. The agency will also be stepping up the review of noise data with the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency’s overall goal is to address noise concerns while supporting growth at the airports, which annually generate billions of dollars in economic activity and wages and support more than 500,000 regional jobs.
“Airport noise is rightly an important concern for residents of Queens, the Bronx and Nassau County and that is why I am directing the Port Authority to open a full and thorough dialogue with the impacted communities while also pursuing a noise study to better address the issue,” Governor Cuomo said. “We will listen to local residents and ensure their input is used to make both JFK and LaGuardia airports better neighbors.”
”Catalyzed by Governor Cuomo’s directive to the Port Authority on this issue, the Port Authority has taken big steps in addressing noise surrounding our airports,’’ said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “We are committed to working with all communities we operate in to address their concerns, while bringing JFK and LaGuardia airports into the 21st Century and maintaining the viability of our airports as major economic engines for the metropolitan region.”
“The Port Authority understands it must strive to be a good neighbor in the communities where its airports are located and we will seek noise mitigation with the FAA where feasible,” said Port Authority Aviation Director Thomas Bosco.
COMMUNITY ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS
The Port Authority will commence aviation community roundtables with FAA officials and community representatives in April for JFK and LaGuardia airports. The two roundtables will include representatives of local elected officials, who have been consulted with regarding the formation and role of the roundtables.
The roundtable meetings will be held on a regularly scheduled basis and will provide an ongoing opportunity for the Port Authority, the FAA and the community to mutually seek ways to manage noise impacts. These roundtables also will provide communities with input, information and ongoing updates during the separate Part 150 noise studies.
IMPLEMENTATION OF FEDERAL PART 150 NOISE STUDY
Late last year, the Port Authority committed to Governor Cuomo’s request that it conduct a Federal Airport Noise Compatibility Planning Part 150 Study to better evaluate noise impacts to the communities surrounding JFK and LaGuardia airports. The agency will now hire an experienced aircraft noise consulting firm to assist with fulfilling the requirements of those studies.
These efforts identify residences, schools/libraries, hospitals/nursing homes and places of worship adversely impacted by aircraft noise. The study takes public comment and provides official answers. It also recommends measures to mitigate excessive noise where possible and seeks to limit future development in potential problem areas.
Mitigation efforts taken at other airports that have done Part 150 studies include revamping of flight routes and approach procedures, encouraging airlines to use quieter aircraft and installing soundproofing to eligible properties. The overall goal is to provide noise relief to communities where possible and practical, while ensuring the continued regional economic benefits of air travel.
DOUBLING THE NUMBER OF NOISE MONITORS
The Port Authority is also committed to doubling the existing portable noise monitors collecting data over flight paths for JFK and LaGuardia airports. This will allow placement in communities currently without monitors, as well as greater flexibility in moving monitors around key communities as needed to collect data.
The agency has the authority to impose limited fines on aircraft violating noise limits at JFK airport and does so as necessary.
NEW NOISE OFFICE
Additionally, the agency is establishing a new Aviation Noise Office that will be staffed by a dedicated team which will be responsible for collecting and reviewing the noise data, while also responding on an enhanced basis to community complaints.
The Port Authority has also streamlined its noise complaint hotline system at 800-225-1071, making it easier for residents to lodge specific complaints about aircraft noise.
NEW PORT AUTHORITY WEBSITE FLIGHT TRACKING SYSTEM
Residents of communities near JFK and LaGuardia airports now can track planes and flight patterns on the Port Authority’s new WebTrak system, which provides graphics identifying aircraft, decibel noise levels, altitudes, airspace location and origin and destination airports.
This informative feature will help residents better identify which planes and aircraft patterns are causing noise issues. WebTrak, already in use at some other U.S. airports, also allows individuals to log aircraft noise complaints while on the site. WebTrak is accessible at http://webtrak.bksv.com/panynj. While the public now may file complaints on WebTrak, the public also can file noise complaints at http://www.planenoise.com/panynj/daPRAbr9/qs114wbt.php.
The Governor commended the efforts of the many elected officials who have been involved in raising the concerns of residents who live in the vicinity of Port Authority airports, including: United States Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand; as well as United States Representatives Joseph Crowley, Eliot Engel, Michael Grimm, Steve Israel, Hakeem Jeffries, Carolyn Maloney, Carolyn McCarthy, Gregory W. Meeks, Grace Meng, Jerrold Nadler, and Jose Serrano; New York State Senators Dean Skelos, Jeffrey Klein, Jack Martins, Joseph Addabbo Jr., Tony Avella, Martin Dilan, Simcha Felder, Michael Gianaris, Terry Gipson, Martin Golden, Kemp Hannon, Andrew Lanza, William Larkin, Carl Marcellino, Velmanette Montgomery, Kevin Parker, Jose Peralta, John Sampson, James Sanders, Jr., Diane Savino, Malcolm Smith, Daniel Squadron, and Toby Stavisky; as well as State Assembly Members Michele Titus, Edwa rd Ra, Peter Abbate, Jr., Jeffrion Aubry, Edward Braunstein, James Brennan, Alec Brook-Krasny, Karim Camara, Barbara Clark, William Colton, Vivian Cook, Marcos Crespo, Brian Curran, Steven Cymbrowitz, Michael DenDekker, Rafael Espinal, Phil Goldfeder, Andrew Hevesi, Dov Hikind, Rhoda Jacobs, Charles Lavine, Joseph Lentol, Ron Kim, Alan Maisel, Nicole Malliotakis, Margeret Markey, Michael Miller, Joan Millman, Walter Mosley, Francisco Moya, Catherine Nolan, Felix Ortiz, Nick Perry, Annette Robinson, Nily Rozic, Michelle Schimel, Michael Simanowitz, Aravella Simotas, Frank Skartados, James Skoufis, Michaelle Solages, Claudia Tenney, Helene Weinstein, and David Weprin; and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams; and members of the New York City Council and local Long Island elected officials.