FAA approves controversial airplane route

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Residents and officials are upset over the approval of a controversial plane route recently approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after a trial run.File Photo
Residents and officials are upset over the approval of a controversial plane route recently approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after a trial run.

A controversial airplane route that polluted the skies with noise during its trial run has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The “TNNIS Climb” — in which departing LaGuardia Airport traffic turns left to the north off Runway 13 — has been given the green light for takeoff, FAA officials said, even after borough leaders and residents said the changes caused a nonstop barrage of low-flying planes to torment their northeast Queens neighborhoods.

“Frankly, it is a disgrace the FAA has decided to go ahead with these departure changes, which will have a profound effect on the residents in northeastern Queens, without the proper input from the community,” said State Senator Tony Avella. “In this case, the FAA has decided to disregard the voice of the people.”

Borough Board members lambasted FAA officials in September, when they said they were not given notice about the six-month trial period that concluded in August.

The test was to ensure the required separation between John F. Kennedy International Airport arrivals and LaGuardia Runway 13 departures while using a new, precise navigation system called “RNAV,” said Ralph Tamburro, the agency’s New York traffic management officer.

Local leaders and residents said the FAA ignored public comment when it made the route permanent at the end of November.

“If they choose to make this permanent, that means I’ll have to move,” said Flushing resident Priscilla Tai. “I can’t survive with this. I need to work and I need quality sleep.”

An air traffic official said the FAA is “working to determine the best way to implement the use of this procedure with these other runway configurations.”

“Our primary mission is to endure the safe and efficient use of our nation’s navigable airspace,” said Elizabeth Ray, vice president of Mission Support Services, in a November letter. “Despite our best attempts, we acknowledge it is impossible to reduce noise levels in every area.”