Tag Archives: air noise

Whitestone resident develops website for local helicopter noise complaints

| asuriel@queenscourier.com


All they want is some peace and quiet.

A Whitestone resident is taking the issue of overhead helicopter noise into the hands of the community by developing a website for residents to digitally submit complaints.

Technology consultant Daniel Aronoff launched the beta test version of his site, “Stop the Chop NY,” on June 24 in an effort to fight back against sound pollution from helicopters and small airplanes flying over north Queens. Information gathered on the site will be sent to local city, state and federal representatives to appeal for their help in seeking relief.

“We wanted to have a community engine that we could control to try to effect change,” said Aronoff, who has lived in Whitestone in 2013 after purchasing a house his grandparents owned in the 1950s.

The site is being spread to the Whitestone community by Aronoff and civic group We Love Whitestone, and has already garnered more than 130 noise complaints. It will be open to other affected communities in mid-July after troubleshooting for operational issues which may occur during the initial trial period.

Features set to be added to the site in the near future include maps of collected complaints and the ability to submit reports of multiple incidents at the same time.

While a site designed by aircraft noise complaint company PlaneNoise is used by the Port Authority to officially collect complaints about airplane, Aronoff saw a need for an additional page because citizens are not able to easily access data collected from that site. Some residents have also said that they are frustrated with not being able to enter in multiple complaints at the same time, and that the page is generally not user-friendly.

The choppers passing over residential areas in north Queens are largely used by tourists from out of town and wealthy patrons chartering speedy transportation to the Hamptons. A study published by Bloomberg News shows that helicopter trips have significantly gone up in East Hampton Airport in 2014. Thanks to the increasing popularity of cellphone applications which allow chartered flights to be summoned almost instantaneously, this number is not likely to go down any time soon.

We Love Whitestone president Alfredo Centola says that he and his neighbors have noticed the increase in air traffic and the resulting noise, noting that sometimes he has even seen two separate aircrafts passing overhead at the same time.

“What happens is, Queens has been all of a sudden assaulted by these helicopters and small planes flying overhead,” said Centola, “and it’s progressively gotten worse.”


Congresswoman Meng pushes for EPA action on airplane noise

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

File photo

Congresswoman Grace Meng has reached out to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to push for an increase in the agency’s efforts to control noise pollution from airplanes and helicopters.

Residents from Bayside, Flushing and surrounding neighborhoods have reported daily disruption from roaring, low-flying planes since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a route change in December 2012 that affected departing LaGuardia Airport traffic.

The new routes adhere to a required three-mile separation between planes coming into John F. Kennedy International Airport and planes taking off from LaGuardia Airport while using a new, precise navigation method.

Meng appealed to the EPA because the agency has the authority to investigate and study noise and its effect and respond to inquiries on matters related to noise under the federal Noise Control Act of 1972. The congresswoman charged that the FAA did not have the resources to properly improve the situation in north Queens, and that a lack of coordination between the aviation authority and airport operators is detrimental to any possible progress.

“[In] order to properly protect human health and the environment from excessive noise, the EPA must fully include flight noise in its jurisdiction,” Meng said. “I have no doubt that its involvement is the best way forward to coordinate the efforts of air carriers, the FAA and airport operators.”

In response to the outcry from the community after the route change, in March 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to double its sound monitors and create an office to address soaring noise complaints.

As part of the ongoing study, the Port Authority has since collected reports in an online noise complaint management system powered by PlaneNoise, an aviation noise consultancy specializing in airport noise complaint management solutions.


FAA to look into JFK, LaGuardia flight patterns

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Queens residents fighting feds over airplane noise that turned some suburban neighborhoods into veritable warzones last summer have won a small battle.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has agreed to form a committee to review the decision-making process it used last December when the agency approved new flight patterns over the borough.

The new routes adhere to a required three-mile separation between planes arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport and planes taking off from LaGuardia Airport’s runway 13 while using a new, precise navigation system, FAA officials said.

But during a six-month trial period last year, some residents said they suffered from a barrage of low-flying airplanes that soared over their homes every minute of two six-hour stretches a day.

Forming the committee “is a move in the right direction,” said Congressmember Grace Meng.

“Although more still needs to be done, this is a positive move that can hopefully have an effect on the increased airplane noise that Queens residents have been forced to endure,” Meng said.

The FAA said there would be fewer planes flying overhead this summer, but there could be times residents will hear the same turbulence they did last summer and fall.

Meng and Congressmember Steve Israel sent a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in February asking him to consider the borough’s concerns.

A group of elected officials from Queens met with FAA officials in Washington, D.C. to hash out a plan.

“I hope it results in a more balanced plan that will alleviate the noise pollution for our constituents,” Israel said.

FAA officials agreed during a March town hall meeting to involve the community in future decisions and to continue hearing them out.