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Congressman Threatens To Withhold FAA Funds On Over Night Jet Arrivals Into JFK

August 13, 2014 - Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) joined local officials and residents to demand that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) adhere to an agreement signed in 2000 that air traffic controllers will not utilize a specific runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport between 11 pm and 7 am unless absolutely necessary. Despite the agreement, use of this runway during these hours has increased by 36 percent, greatly increasing noise from aircraft and impacting many of Nassau County’s residents’ quality of life. 

Rep. Israel and local officials called for increased FAA enforcement of the agreement put in place almost 14 years ago to limit the number of overnight arrivals flying directly over a large section of Nassau County. 

The overnight flight agreement signed by the Air Traffic Managers at both New York TRACON and Kennedy Tower on September 1, 2000 entitled “New York TRACON/Kennedy Tower Letter of Agreement” directly addressed the issue of overnight aircraft noise over Nassau County. The agreement noted that Runways 22L and 22R, which are responsible for a majority of the aircraft noise my constituents experience in Nassau County, would not be used for arrivals, except in a very limited number of situations, between the hours of 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM local time.


Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) said, “We know that airplane noise is impacting local communities. I am calling on the FAA to comply with its agreement and give North Shore residents much-needed relief overnight. We stand tonight in a united front with all levels of government to change the unacceptable level of noise.  I will continue to fought for other common-sense changes like more noise monitors for tracking and robust community input on the needed flight changes.” 

New York State Senator Jack M. Martins (R-Mineola) said, "For years, Nassau communities have been barraged by aircraft noise, affecting our quality of life and our environment.  The FAA's current practice of routing the overwhelming share of planes over our suburban communities must stop, especially where they are disrupting our residents throughout the night.  The FAA needs to find alternatives and take steps to improve the quality of life for our communities, and I am proud to join with Congressman Israel in urging them to do so." 

New York State Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) said, “The increase in air traffic at JFK has had a significant impact on residents living in communities in close proximity to the airport and has created a situation that has diminished the quality of life for many families. The agreement that was put in place in September of 2000 was purposeful in restricting nighttime aircraft noise to provide some peace and quiet to these residential communities. Instead the number of arrivals has continued to increase. It is imperative that the FAA abide by the intent of this agreement and grant residents the respect to which they are entitled.”



New York State Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel (D-Great Neck) said, "Congressman Israel's letter is an important step in alerting the FAA for an immediate need to mitigate the impacts of airplane noise in our Nassau County communities. The letter, coupled with the Part 150 Study authorized by action of the NY State Legislature and Governor Cuomo, will go a long way in spelling relief!" 

New York State Assemblyman Edward Ra (R-Franklin Square) noted that, “Overnight air traffic has become increasingly frustrating for residents in western Nassau County, significantly compromising the quality of life for community members. The Federal Aviation Administration must do its part and hold the line on an agreement that was put in place nearly 14 years ago which would reduce the number of overnight air traffic. I will remain steadfast in working with my colleagues at the state and federal level to see this agreement is enforced and continue to find ways to balance air traffic with improving the quality of life for our residents." 

North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth said, “No one area in the Town of North Hempstead should have to relinquish their quality of life to the relentless roar of air traffic over their homes. I stand in support of Congressman Israel’s action in calling on the FAA to find a solution that doesn’t force East Hills to bear the brunt of the noise during the evening hours.” 

North Hempstead Town Councilman Peter J. Zuckerman stated, “As a representative of East Hills, both as a former village trustee and now as a Town councilman, I have fought hard to reduce airplane noise in this area. East Hills cannot continue to be under constant bombardment by local air traffic. It’s great to know that we have a voice in congress like Steve Israel’s, who is fighting for our residents’ quality of life.” 

East Hills Village Mayor Michael Koblenz said, “I am proud to partner with Congressman Israel and leaders from all levels of government to push the FAA to change this untenable overnight airplane noise. The residents of East Hills need the FAA to make a change to help our community.” 

Brookville Mayor Daniel Serota said, “We are so pleased to have Rep. Israel spearheading this issue. For years, the residents of Brookville and surrounding areas have had their quality of live disrupted by the constant and deafening noise of low overhead flights as they come in for final landing at JFK and other airports. Having Rep. Israel's support has been immensely helpful in bringing this issue to a head." 

Old Brookville Village Mayor Bernard Ryba noted that, "Tens of thousands of Nassau County residents are adversely affected by aircraft noise every day and are entitled to the quiet enjoyment of their properties during the evening hours.  I fully support Congressman Israel's request that all appropriate parties work together within the framework of the New York TRACON/Kennedy Tower Letter of Agreement to limit the number of JFK flight arrivals over Nassau County during the evening hours for the benefit of our communities.” 

North Hills Village Mayor Marvin Natiss said, “The residents of North Hills greatly appreciate the efforts of Congressman Israel to reduce the air traffic and abate the noise from the overuse of certain air corridors.” 

Roslyn Village Mayor John Durkin stated, “With Long Islanders overburdened by traffic congestion not only on the roads but now in the air as well, I applaud and support Congressman Israel's efforts to curb airplane noise over our community. This is a quality of life issue that is important to all of us.” 

East Williston Mayor David Tanner said, “I support Congressman Israel’s efforts to combat excessive airplane noise in our communities at night. I am proud to work with other leaders to get the FAA to make these necessary changes.” 

Ray Gaudio, East Williston Village Liaison for Air Traffic Noise, noted that, “Despite having seven other runways at JFK airport the FAA unfairly puts about 80,000 arrivals per year over one set if communities. The FAA cites operational efficiency as justification for using runway 22L for about 35% of all arrivals into JFK. Safety, pollution & noise are non-issues for the FAA. We thank Congressman Israel and our other elected officials for helping us against the egregious actions of the FAA.” 

Len Schaier, President of Quietskies.net, said, “The tower agreement is a clear indication that even back in 2000 the FAA realized that noise mitigation during at least the night time hours was needed. The problem is now actually worse than it was when the Agreement was signed yet there is no indication that the FAA even tries to follow the agreement. Quietskies.net therefore welcomes this effort by Congressman Israel to investigate why the Agreement is not being followed. Further, we believe this effort should be the start of a detailed look at why residents living under the approaches to the 22's are being abused at all hours, and what can be done through runway rotation and other methods to mitigate the situation.” 

Natalie Mansbach, East Hills resident and Member of the Village of East Hills Aircraft Noise Abatement Committee, said “Having lived in East Hills for 35 years +, I am actually entertaining a move.  I loved this tiny Village with such amenities as quiet and tranquility. This has changed in the past year since the "invasion" of low flying jet traffic. I have become a prisoner in my home in order to escape the bombardment of arriving jets landing at JFK. The noise, the low flying jets, the rattling of windows, the constant flight pattern every few seconds of jets flying in parallel lines and the pollution caused by this surge of jets, has made my beloved community a ‘runway and an unsafe haven.’” 

Jana Goldenberg, East Hills resident and Member of the Village of East Hills Aircraft Noise Abatement Committee, stated that “Growing up I lived near Kennedy Airport, so when I moved to East Hills which is 13 miles away from the airport, I wanted to get away from the airport noise. Our community was calm & peaceful with the occasional airplane over head, until the FAA decided to overuse runways 22L & 22R. Now there are planes flying over my home every 60 to 90 seconds. My house is rattled with the vibrations & sounds of jumbo jets on their approach to JFK.  All we are asking is for the FAA to fairly distribute air traffic so that ONE community does not bear the brunt of air traffic over their homes.”

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