Tag Archives: jfk airport

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.

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JFK Airport cleaner busted for stealing $10K worth of mini-liquor bottles


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

A Brooklyn woman stole $10,000 worth of mini-liquor bottles over a three-year period while she cleaned planes at JFK Airport, prosecutors said.

Juanette Cullum, 48, is currently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on charges of third-degree grand larceny and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, according to the district attorney’s office.

Police were tipped off to Cullum’s alleged theft and visited her home, where she confessed to taking the liquor and other miscellaneous items over a three-year period, prosecutors said. Cops found nearly 1,500 mini-bottles inside a closet in her home.

Cullum, who is employed by Air Service Cleaning at JFK Airport and is responsible for cleaning American Airlines planes in Terminal 8, allegedly took about $10,000 in stolen liquor.

If convicted, she faces up to seven years in prison.

This was not the first big bust involving miniature drinks. Back in 2012, authorities collared 18 airport workers who allegedly pilfered thousands of mini-liquor bottles and duty-free items from JFK Airport.

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JFK passenger caught with $30K of cocaine in running shoes


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of U. S. Customs and Border Protection

This traveler may not be able to run away from the drug conviction he’s facing.

Thenga Adams had just arrived at JFK Airport on a flight from Georgetown, Guyana, on April 7 when he was stopped by U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers for an inspection, officials said.

During the inspection, CBP officers found several pairs of running shoes in his luggage that contained a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine, according to CBP. The seized drugs totaled about 2 pounds and had an estimated value of $30,000.

Adams was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and now faces federal narcotics smuggling charges, CBP officials said.

 


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Travelers left $76K in change behind at NYC area airport checkpoints last year: TSA


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Title

New York City travelers better watch what they are leaving behind the next time they go through the area’s airports.

In the fiscal year 2014, passengers departing John F. Kennedy International Airport left behind $42,550 in loose change at security checkpoints, the highest amount in the nation, according to the TSA.

Coming in second was Los Angeles International Airport with $41,506.64 in change, followed by San Francisco International Airport with $34,889.63.

Though New York’s other area airports didn’t make the top 10 list,  passengers who departed LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports still left behind an impressive hunk of change at their checkpoints — $16,786.05 and $16,669.72, respectively.

In total for the fiscal year 2014, travelers left nearly $675,000 in change behind at airport checkpoints across the country, according to an annual report that tracks the money travelers leave behind. The number is up from last year, and has been increasing since at least 2010, when $409,085.56 in change was forgotten at airport checkpoints.

airport chart

Chart courtesy of TSA

The TSA says it makes a full effort to reunite passengers with items that they leave at checkpoints, but some of these items, including loose coins that are removed from their pockets and typically left in bins during the security screening process, will go unclaimed.

The unclaimed items are documented and turned into the TSA financial office. In 2005, Congress gave TSA the ability to expend unclaimed money for security operations.

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Suspect robs Hilton near JFK: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Sketch courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man who is suspected of stealing $500 from a Hilton Garden Inn near JFK Airport Monday night.

The robbery occurred at a hotel at 148-18 134th St., near S. Conduit Avenue in Jamaica, at about 6:50 p.m.

The suspect entered the Hilton and showed a note to the front desk employee demanding cash. He then took $500 before fleeing in an unknown direction, police said.

Authorities described the suspect as a black man, about 25 to 35 years old, standing between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a medium build.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Fake cabbie told passengers AirTrain was down to solicit fares: DA


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

An unlicensed livery cab driver was busted after he allegedly lied to JFK Airport passengers by telling them the AirTrain wasn’t running and that he was a Super Shuttle driver, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Barnabas Laurent, 47, of Brentwood, Long Island, has been arraigned on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, second-degree criminal impersonation, third-degree criminal trespass and unlawful solicitation of ground transportation, District Attorney Richard Brown announced Monday.

Laurent was allegedly spotted approaching several passengers at the airport’s arrivals section in Terminal 1 on Saturday to try to solicit fares. According to the criminal complaint, he falsely told passengers that the AirTrain wasn’t working and said that he was a Super Shuttle driver. Laurent then offered to take them to the Jamaica train station or elsewhere.

Inside Laurent’s vehicle, a Super Shuttle rate book, receipt books and other material with the Super Shuttle logo were allegedly found.

“It is important that travelers visiting New York City are provided with a safe and welcoming atmosphere at our airports,” Brown said. “Unregulated taxis and unscrupulous drivers — who are not properly licensed and do not carry appropriate insurance — put riders at risk.”

Laurent, who faces up to a year in jail if convicted, is being held in lieu of $500 bail.

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First annual QNS Real Estate Conference features Port Authority director Patrick Foye


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Dominick Totino

It may have seemed like a cheap dig at the time, but Vice President Biden’s recent quip that LaGuardia Airport is fit for a Third World nation was on the money, said the man in charge of the city’s airports, Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye.

Foye, the keynote speaker at the first QNS Real Estate Conference on Thursday, sponsored by The Queens Courier, conceded that the city’s oldest airport is in need of a major overhaul — and he pledged that the revamp will get done.

“Queens has been a gateway to the world for more than 100 years,” Foye told more than 350 real estate executives who turned out for the breakfast forum at Terrace on the Park. “The only way to keep that moniker is to update and improve the borough’s airports.”

“Vice President Biden made a comment, which sadly I happen to agree with in large part, which is, that parts of LaGuardia look like a Third World nation,” Foye said.

This statement was made about the central terminal building in LaGuardia Airport. In response, the Port Authority is currently looking to do a redesign of that building.

The current terminal is decades old and vastly outdated. A redesign is greatly needed, Foye pointed out, and the Port Authority is working on getting that built.

“The central terminal building has long outlived its usefulness,” Foye admitted. He continued by saying that the central terminal building was “built for a different generation of aircraft and for a far smaller number of passengers coming through on an annual basis.”

Another project the Port Authority is focusing on is the creation of a proposed AirTrain to LaGuardia, connecting the airport to the Willets Point station for the No. 7 subway and the nearby Long Island Rail Road station.

Foye believes that a public transportation option from Midtown Manhattan to LaGuardia Airport will help reduce congestion on roadways and generate revenue for the city. He went on to talk about the Port Authority’s Capital Plan that funds major transportation projects in both New York and New Jersey.

“Last year the Port Authority board approved a capital plan of $27.6 billion over 10 years. That includes $8 billion for our airports, and $5 billion alone for JFK and LaGuardia,” he said.

Foye said the capital funds will be instrumental in making important strides in improving Queens’ airports.

There will be major runway projects conducted at JFK, the construction of a new electric substation at LaGuardia along with the completion of new parking structures at the airports, he explained.

With Queens being named the top U.S. tourist destination by Lonely Planet, the Port Authority is committed to updating the area airports to better receive and service those travelers.

The event, co-hosted by The Queens Courier and the Real Estate Board of New York, was focused on the current real estate boom taking place in the borough.

Borough President Melinda Katz, who opened the morning conference, said Queens is “the hot and on-the-move borough when it comes to real estate in the city of New York.”

She went on to explain some of the borough’s top assets driving the new real estate boon, including museums, cultural diversity and what she believes is the “biggest asset,” the aviation industry.

In 2014, more than 80 million travelers came through both of Queens’ airports, John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport.

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Long Island man dies after being struck by car near JFK Airport


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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A Long Island man who was hit by a minivan on North Conduit Avenue near JFK Airport earlier this month has died, police said Tuesday.

The 2011 Toyota Sienna was heading westbound on North Conduit Avenue just before midnight on Feb. 4 when it struck Marco Orellana near Cranston Street. After hitting Orellana, the driver then rear-ended an unoccupied, parked SUV with a trailer attached.

Orellana, a 48-year-old Bellmore resident, was taken to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition, but succumbed to his injuries on Feb. 11.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Phony cop wanted in Queens livery cab robberies


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos and video courtesy of NYPD

A fake cop robbed livery cab drivers seven times this month after they picked him up at John F. Kennedy Airport, police said.

The phony officer tells the driver he is a Queens policeman while waving a gun and demanding property, authorities said. He then flees the vehicle just north of the airport, around the Jamaica or Springfield Garden areas.


During the incidents, which occurred between Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, the suspect stole credit cards, cellphones, a GPS device and a total of $960 in cash.

Police describe the suspect as black and about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 160 pounds.

324-15 PIIU - Cab Robbery

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Car crash near JFK Airport kills one, injures two


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

AmbulanceInMotionHC0507_L_300_C_Y-624x416

One woman was killed and two more were injured when their car struck a tree near an exit for the John F. Kennedy International Airport early Tuesday morning, police said.

The two-door Nissan sedan crashed into the tree as the vehicle was traveling eastbound on the Nassau Expressway near the Van Wyck Expressway about 3:20 a.m., cops said.

One of the passengers, Patina Deygoo, 22, of Valley Stream, Long Island, died at Jamaica Hospital.

The second passenger and the driver, both 26-year-old women, were also taken to Jamaica Hospital. The driver is in critical condition and the passenger is stable, according to police.

The NYPD’s Highway Collision Investigation Squad is looking into the crash.

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Seven JFK baggage handlers busted for stealing from passengers’ luggage


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Seven baggage handlers working at John F. Kennedy International Airport are accused of stealing more than $20,000 worth of electronics and jewelry from checked luggage and trying to sell the items, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

The airport workers are facing charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, according to the district attorney’s office.

They allegedly took the items, which included iPads, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and a pair of two-carat diamond and gold earrings, between March 2012 and June 2014.

Most of the baggage handlers sold the items to a pawn shop or a “fence,” who was actually an uncover police officer, District Attorney Richard Brown said. They would steal the items from the suitcases of both national and international passengers, and set up meetings on or near airport grounds in order to sell the goods.

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Queens man arrested for stealing two Jetway motors at JFK


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Port Authority Police Department

Cambria Heights man working at John F. Kennedy International Airport allegedly stole two Jetway motors with the intention of selling them for scrap metal.

On Thursday at the airport’s Terminal 7, witnesses saw 30-year-old James Hicks-Johnson, who works for a de-icing company, place two Jetway motors into his company’s vehicle and then drive off, according to authorities.

Hicks-Johnson did not have any authorization to remove the engines, which were valued at $7,000 each and belonged to British Airways, according to Port Authority Police. When he returned to the terminal he was placed under arrest by Port Authority police officers.

When questioned Hicks-Johnson made statements suggesting that he intended to sell the property for scrap metal, authorities said.

He was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

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Queens residents accused of stealing money orders from mail at JFK Airport


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

MailPileHC1408_X_300_C_R

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Five Queens residents, including two baggage handlers at John F. Kennedy International Airport, are accused of participating in a scheme that involved stealing money orders from internationally-bound mail.

One of the baggage handlers, Kenroy C. Mitchell of St. Albans allegedly deposited 33 stolen money orders into his bank account between November 2013 and January 2014, according to District Attorney Richard Brown. The money orders had been sent via U.S. mail to Japan, Korea and Greece.

Amanda Mackie, 20, of Rosedale, is accused of acting in concert with one of the other suspects, but was employed by Ground Services International as a baggage handler, Brown said. She allegedly deposited a money order meant for Japan into her own bank account this January.

Mitchell was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday, on charges of grand larceny criminal possession of stolen property. He is also charged with acting in concert with one of the other suspects and is accused of stealing more than $25,000, prosecutors said.

Mackie was arraigned Wednesday night and also charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. She is also charged with participating in a scheme to steal and criminally possessing $2,800 in U.S. Postal money orders.

Mitchell and Mackie were released on their own recognizance.

The three other individuals are still being sought, according to the district attorney’s office.

The suspects were identified and caught as the result of a joint investigation that the United States Postal Office and Port Authority Police Department carried out after receiving numerous complaints of money orders not reaching their intended destinations, Brown said. Specifically, the mail was allegedly being handled by Ground Services International and Swissport USA baggage handlers at JFK Airport.

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Guns, ammo, 33 pounds of pot found in woman’s luggage at JFK: officials


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of @TSAmedia_LisaF

A Canadian woman was busted at John F. Kennedy International Airport Sunday morning after TSA officers discovered guns, ammunition and 58 bricks of marijuana hidden among cat litter, drink mixes and household items inside her baggage, officials said.

The illegal loot was found in the passenger’s two pieces of checked luggage. The screeners noticed the suitcases were full of cans and boxes for baby wipes, coffee, floor dusting sheets, lemonade mix, iced tea mix, cat litter and laundry tablets, according to the TSA.

Copy of 2

Inside the product containers, they uncovered two disassembled .40 caliber handguns, 350 rounds of ammunition, four magazines for the weapons and 58 bricks of pot totaling 33 pounds.

Port Authority police were called, and the traveler, Nyesha McPherson, 24, of Scarborough, Ontario, who was ticketed to fly to the Barbados, was arrested at about 9 a.m., officials said.

McPherson has been charged with criminal possession of marijuana, criminal possession of weapon, criminal possession of a firearm, possession of high capacity magazines and possession of ammunition, according to a PA spokesman.

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Queens man nabbed at JFK for allegedly taking TSA agent’s handbag    


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

HANDCUFFS 1

A Queens man was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport for stealing a TSA agent’s handbag not long after he was busted at the airport for unlawful solicitation of ground transportation, according to the Port Authority.

Carlos Sanchez, 61, is accused of draping his jacket over the agent’s handbag and walking away with it at about 7:50 a.m. on Thursday in Terminal 5. He only made it a few steps before he was caught, PA spokesman Joseph Pentangelo said.

The handbag contained her credit cards and TSA equipment that is commonly used for K-9 training.

Sanchez was arrested by Port Authority police and charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, according to authorities.

Within the past two weeks, while working as a livery driver, Sanchez was arrested at JFK for unlawful solicitation of ground transportation, Pentangelo said. As a result of a violation of a condition of that arrest, he will also be charged with criminal trespass and trespass in Thursday’s incident.

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