Plane truth? The feds will not do anything about Slope airplane noise

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Federal aviation officials faced a barrage of complaints last Thursday night from Park Slope residents, who fervently described an incessant barrage of aircraft noise that they say will only get worse.

The heated meeting featured a stunning dichotomy: As much as Federal Aviation Administration and Port Authority officials relied on technical jargon, aircraft noise opponents relied on their passion for the subject — even going so far as to read a letter from a sympathizer who said that her cancer was exacerbated by low-flying airplanes.

But the officials from the FAA, as well as the Port Authority — which operates La Guardia airport — were unmoved. While not disputing any of the opponents’ basic data on low-flying airplanes, they said their hands were tied when tweaking the flight patterns of the most cluttered airspace in the country.

“All these flight patterns are tightly maintained,” said FAA representative Stephanie Branta, while standing in front of a complex map of flights sweeping over Park Slope and Prospect Park. “We have guidelines that must be followed.”

But Jim Williams of Brooklyn Against Aircraft Noise wasn’t sympathetic.

“We can’t sit on our deck anymore!” Williams said. “Every minute — whoosh Whoosh! We can watch them fly overhead.”

The anti-aircraft noise activists cited data that they had acquired through a Freedom of Information Law request, along with their own sound readings, which they said proved that flights were bombarding the neighborhood with roaring turbines.

But many of the anti-noise advocates’ proposed solutions were quickly rebuffed by the government officials.

One suggestion was that air-traffic controllers at La Guardia send more planes to a runway that is neglected compared to the one that receives planes flying over Park Slope roughly every 30 seconds — to which Branta gruffly replied: “Does anyone understand how runway selection is made?” (As it turns out, runways are selected by ideal wind conditions.)

Another suggestion was that planes follow the path of the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway instead of the route stretching from Bay Ridge, through Park Slope, and straight to La Guardia.

“It’s not safe,” said Ralph Tamburro of the FAA. “Aircraft can’t navigate that precisely.”

But without any reforms in air traffic management — and with advances in technology making landing more efficient — Park Slope will be even noisier, according to Jeffrey Starin, a licensed pilot.

“With this next generation [navigation] technology they’re rolling out — if you think it’s bad now, just wait. Things are not going to be pretty,” Starin said.

Things certainly don’t look like they’ll change for the better. By the end of the meeting, held by the Park Slope Civic Council at New York Methodist Hospital, aviation officials weren’t promising anything.

In a moment that highlighted how heated the debate had become, Civic Council President Ken Freeman asked if any members would like to take the lead on further dialogue.

There were no volunteers.

Updated 5:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Priscilla Roberts from Park Slope says:
There are 5 busy airports in and around NYC, all located in a windy, wet coastal area with some of the tallest buildings in the world. LGA has a runway that aims in only one direction and handles both takeoffs and landings. There's no flexibility to set flight paths here. I sympathize with those who are very sensitive to noise but NYC is not for you if you expect to sit on an outdoor deck in silence. I personally don't find the airplane noise is that loud or bothersome. The traffic noise in Park Slope is far more loud. I know from experience if you hate the source of noise the noise bothers you more. It's to a large degree emotional.
April 2, 2010, 9:17 am
ronbo says:
I also live on the flight path to Laguardia but in Forest Hills, Queens. I see the planes every couple of minutes from my living room window, but here nothing. I have never heard any aircraft noise while out on the street either and I am closer to the airport. I am surprised that the Park Slope area would hear planes louder than I do in my neighborhood.
April 2, 2010, 10 am
Can't Handle the Truth from Gowanus says:
It sounds just like an Airbus making a landing ... whinnnnnneeeeeeeeee.
April 2, 2010, 10:06 am
Leon Freilich from Park Slope says:

The real estate boom has plunged and died

And jobs are still far off

Supplanted by the unwelcome boom

Of a constant sonic cough.
April 2, 2010, 3:18 pm
john gotti from howard beach says:
You think you got noise, come check out my neighborhood.
April 2, 2010, 8:25 pm
david from park slope says:
i guess the people complaining, must have moved here in the 1930's, cuz I been here since the 1960's and plane noise in not one bit worse now than it was when i was a kid. My kids would like to live here, how bout the criers move to PA and my kids get there house along with the noise.
April 4, 2010, 7:39 pm
Terrace-Top Tenant from Park Slope says:
I have a terrace directly in the LGA flight pattern and tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears) to boot. I've learned to ignore both.

IT'S THE CITY FOLKS! Next we'll have folks say that ambulances will need to take different routes to the hospital.
April 5, 2010, 12:11 pm
ppw from park slope says:
we live right on PPW and have a roof terrace. (yes, we are lucky). And yeah, the planes go by. So do trucks, and ambulances, and buses, and fire trucks, and screaming humans of all sizes (including the adult ones). Planes don't even figure into the constant noise of daily life-- you can barely hear them over all the ground traffic. It's rather selfish to expect the airport to move traffic patterns to someone else's neighborhood just because you don't like it, no?
April 6, 2010, 12:55 pm
BlueJay from Sunset Park says:
While I hope it is not intentional, I think the request for air traffic to be routed over the BQE instead of Park Slope is at the very least environmental classism and possibly worse, considering the demographics of the respective neighborhoods.

Even if one has never been on a plane, NYC residents benefit from air travel and shipping in ways that may not seem apparent unless one chooses to look at them. Likely the complainants enjoy greater benefits than those they would push the perceived problem onto.

What surprises me even more then this group calling the FAA in to their meeting is that the FAA actually sent someone to it.
April 7, 2010, 11:32 pm
Kim from from Marietta GA says:
Airplane noise is terrible. Planes fly out of Dobbins ARB and fly 44 feet above ground level over my house-I am under a flight path! Feds won't pay me "just compensation" and the Feds say my house is livable. Dobbins ARB flys about 83,000 planes in and out annually. The noise is HORRIBLE and the area is single family home residential that has been here since the 1920's. Dobbins ARB needs to move out of Marietta. The whole area is turning into a slum area and citizens in Marietta GA hates the noise.

Everyone in the United States of America needs to band together about the noise.
Take a look at this web page:
May 5, 2010, 4:55 pm
Adrastos from Bensonhurst says:
The places are flying close to here as well and are annoying. Air traffic is the worst because it never stops.

It is the same with the tourist helicopters around Govenors Island and you can't even enjoy the parks anymore.
Feb. 5, 2012, 9:07 pm
cezzre from dyker hts says:
whats with the freaking planes now, all of a sudden they are flying so close, I can hear them now.

they were always in the distance as if flying over the harbor, nut now they seem like they are flying over 5th ave and i can see and hear them from my home on 14th ave and 86th

they are horrible making noise one after the other after the other....

what happened here?>??????
Feb. 7, 2012, 9:55 pm
simon from dyker hts says:
stop these freeeeking planes, they are so low flying and so loud, doesnt anyone care.??

air traffice noise if God awful
Oct. 9, 2012, 8:09 pm
sam from bay ridge says:
these freaking planes are annoying and very disturbing already.
why must they fly so low.
doesnt out city officials have any compassion for the residents of brooklyn that they allow these planes to fly over our borough at a rate of 30 second per interval.
yup, every freaking 30 seconds another plane goes by.

there must have been hundreds of planes going by today, thus breathing in all this jet fuel, because we are.
Oct. 21, 2012, 8:26 pm
carmine from sunset park says:
2 plane fly every minute
12 planes fly every hour
96 planes fly by every 8 hours

and it is disruptive and we breath this jet fuel in every day.

day in and day out.

so we all get cancer, does anyone care????
Nov. 8, 2012, 12:34 pm
mr samuels from bay ridge says:
FAA sucks ass.

Doesnt anyone of our elected officials care about us, marty markowitz, where are you. Can you help the residents of brooklyn that have to endure airplanes flying at 30 second intervals?

Do you have any idea of how disturbing it is to hear a plane fly by at suck a low altitude, then 30 seconds another one, non stop all day long. from 6 in the morning till 2 am, 30 seconds palne after plane after plane
Nov. 15, 2012, 9:38 pm
Allan from Dyker Heights says:
I live on 70th Street between 13th and 14th Avenues in Dyker Heights and I seem to be on the damn flight path to LGA. The planes fly low overhead at 60 second to 120 second intervals right over my house. I moved here only a few weeks ago and I never expected this. I had lived in Park Slope where I experienced some airplane noise but this is much worse. I am nowhere near an aiport (LGA in particlular) but I am a victim of these damn planes. It is incesant in the mornings and evenings.
Dec. 20, 2012, 10:37 am
vanessa from dyker heights says:
if the planes would fly higher that would solve most of the problem.

but they fly at, 5th ave, 12th ave, 20th ave, every 30 seconds all day long.

Does anyone think this is fair for the thousands of residents that have to be disrupted all day and night, constant?????

Dyker, Bathbeach, bensonhurst never had any air traffic at all, until 6 months ago.

It is like a free for all, every 30-40 seconds another pne flys by.

what is this, it is terriblely disrupting.

make these damn planes fly higher, there is no reason to make them fly so low
Dec. 25, 2012, 9:14 pm
Mr martinez from Sunset park says:
What the FAA has done to brooklyn is criminal. they just took it upon themselves the re design air space without any consideration for the thousands of tax paying residents.

Airplane noise if offensive and disruprive, and anyone that thinks different is a moron. jet fuel is toxic and cancerous. We know this is the City, there is noise, but to listen to a jet fly by, then in 30 seconds another one followed by another, adn soi on, is simply un acceptable.

our officials here in brooklyn are simply worthless. marty is too busy getting photographed all the time, Schummer is a retard and doesnt even care about noise.

there should be no reason that the planes have to fly so low.

i thin greed is the reason, to get more flights in and out.

yet lagaurdia is clear across brooklyn yet we are forced be the FAA as if by divine right they were allowed to change the flight paths.
FAA, you suck. and should all be ashamed of yourselves
April 11, 2013, 8:41 am
Bookishgem from Park Slope says:
The noise from low flying aircraft has increased exponentially in the past few months in Park Slope. Normal air plane noise this is not. And, we live 8 miles from La Guardia!! The Nextgen system and flight path redesign is the cause. It is horrible, sickening, nerve wracking and unbearable noise every 60-90 seconds all day long every single day. Forget about reading a book, talking to someone inside or outside, or enjoying Prospect Park. The noise decibel levels are being recorded as way higher than permissible levels set by the EPA. Yet, we pay the highest taxes in the country!!! Legislators, where are you? FAA and DOT, what is going on? Bill De Blasio, if we elect you, what will you do to help??
Sept. 17, 2013, 2:43 pm
Jetman from Palo Alto, CA says:
It is not just the noise... under the newly implemented "NextGen" approach, jets approach the airport with their engines at idle. Engines burning hydrocarbon fuels produce maximum pollution when they are at idle.

A 2011 study done at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and detailed in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Journal found that jet engines at idle produce ten times more pollution when at idle, and 35 times more brain-penetrating microscopic than expected.

"Jet Pollution Can Penetrate Brain and Lungs, Study Finds" - News Corp ~ May 13, 2011
Jan. 24, 2014, 3:03 am

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