Avella and Braunstein Applaud Governor Cuomo for Directing Port Authority to Conduct Noise Studies and Establish Community Roundtable to Address Increase in Airplane Noise Over Queens

Senator Tony Avella and Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) applauded Governor Cuomo’s decision today to direct the Port Authority to conduct noise studies for LaGuardia and JFK airports and to establish a community roundtable for airport noise and related issues in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other stakeholders. Although Governor Cuomo vetoed the legislation that would have required the Port Authority to conduct a noise and land use compatibility survey, he recognized the need to address the increase in aircraft noise as soon as possible and did not want to wait for New Jersey to pass similar legislation in order to get the study and community roundtable going.

Both Avella and Braunstein have been vocal critics of the FAA’s intention to move forward with the permanent implementation of changes in departure procedures at LaGuardia Airport, in conjunction with specific runway configurations at John F. Kennedy Airport, that has resulted in an excessive increase in noise and air pollution throughout Queens. They, along with elected officials and community leaders throughout Queens, have been leading the fight to have the FAA amend the new flight pattern and revert back to the old schedule.

In the meantime, Avella and Braunstein, in conjunction with Queens Quiet Skies, have also been advocating for the creation of a community roundtable similar to ones that the FAA has in numerous cities across the country, but which has not been created in New York City. They have also fought to have more noise monitors installed throughout Queens and were co-sponsors of legislation requiring the Port Authority to conduct a noise and land use compatibility survey. With the Governor’s message today, noise studies and a community roundtable are one significant step closer to reality.

Avella stated, “I am extremely pleased that Governor Cuomo recognized the profound impact that the increase in airplane noise has had on the quality of life for Queens residents. By directing the Port Authority to conduct noise studies and create a community roundtable, two things that we have been fighting for, the Governor has demonstrated the leadership needed to finally begin addressing this important issue. We have been battling this issue for over a year now, and these latest positive developments are a testament to the hard work and determination everyone has shown in fighting against this sudden increase in airplane noise.”

"I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing the need for an environmental study for the residents of Queens and Nassau. We are confident that this study will prove that despite assurances to the contrary, the FAA's recently implemented flight patterns do have a significant impact on our communities. I look forward to working together with Senator Tony Avella and all of my colleagues to continue to fight the constant barrage of airplane noise," said Assemblyman Braunstein.

Bob Whitehair, Vice President of Queens Quiet Skies, stated, “Queens Quiet Skies is very pleased with Governor Cuomo’s actions today regarding airplane noise, made on behalf of the residents of Queens. While the Governor vetoed a bill strongly supported by our organization, many hundreds of whom sent letters of support, the veto message which accompanied the veto showed true leadership by requiring two specific steps: First, his veto message directs the establishment of an Aviation Community Roundtable, for which Queens Quiet Skies has fought long and hard. We believe that a Roundtable established by formal agreement between the stakeholders, with a definitive plan for environmental improvements in the form of a Work Plan, will allow representatives of citizen groups, the FAA, the Airlines, and the Port Authority, to mutually collaborate in resolution of very complex issues regarding aviation and airplane noise.

Further, the message directs the Port Authority to conduct noise studies in compliance with Part 150 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. Following FAA guidelines in the preparation of new noise contours and other planning documents will benefit our members and the residents of all of Queens.

The overall outcome of the Governor’s actions will over time, turn out to be much more beneficial and expeditious than if he had merely signed the bill. We applaud the Governor for his ability to understand this issue’s complexities and to take appropriate action. We thank Governor Cuomo!”

“I look forward to working with Assemblyman Braunstein, Queens Quiet Skies, and the community to ensure that the Port Authority follows through with Governor Cuomo’s directives,” concluded Avella.