Tag Archives: LaGuardia Airport

Op-Ed: More airport terminal gates = More Queens jobs


| oped@queenscourier.com

BY SETH BORNSTEIN

In late May, Delta Airlines officially opened nine more gates at JFK’s Terminal 4. This is great news for the borough of Queens and our on-going efforts to create, retain and attract jobs.

Here at the Queens Economic Development Corporation, where I serve as executive director, we offer numerous business- services programs that provide counseling; train people to get proper licenses and permits; coordinate commercial revitalization programs to upgrade our commercial neighborhoods; operate the Entrepreneur Space, a business incubator for small food businesses; and run the Queens Tourism Council, which promotes our cultural and recreational venues.

However, the most overlooked economic development program in Queens is not offered by my office. Rather, that program consists of our two Queens airports: LaGuardia and JFK.

The two airports are the unsung heroes of job creation and retention in Queens — with over 50 percent of airport employees being borough residents. That’s why so many of us know someone connected to the airports — whether it’s a friend who is a gate agent, a relative who works at a hotel or a neighbor who runs a catering company that supplies an airline.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which operates LGA, JFK, Newark and two additional regional airports, generates close to 500,000 jobs, $25.6 billion in wages and $65 billion in total economic activity. In Queens, LaGuardia generates over 100,000 jobs, about $5 billion in wages and almost $14 billion in total economic activity. JFK generates more than twice the number of jobs and wages as LGA — thanks to the large cargo presence, with a total of over $30 billion in economic activity.

The simple fact is that more gates at JFK means more jobs for Queens. The Port Authority estimates that for every 1 million passengers the airports serve, 4,100 jobs are created annually in the region. These are direct airport jobs as well as jobs in the myriad of businesses in and around the airport, including restaurants, florist shops, car rentals, gas stations, uniform manufacturers and retail establishments, as well as the tourism industry. And the people of Queens have benefited from this more than any other county.

Additionally, the Port Authority awards hundreds of contracts every year to New York-based firms for work at LGA and JFK. Last year alone totaled $68.5 million. Since the implementation of the Queens Air Service Development Office, which was founded at the QEDC over 25 years ago, the borough has been awarded nearly 7,000 contracts, totaling approximately $1.1 billion to Queens-based operations. Organizations such as All Lock and Glass Service Inc. of Long Island City, Glenridge Fabrications of Ridgewood, Solar Insulation Company Inc. of Maspeth and Capital Contractors Inc. of Douglaston. In addition, many small and minority-owned businesses have taken advantage of the Air Services Office.

Unfortunately, the future of this highly successful airport jobs program is in jeopardy. This is because our region’s airports are facing severe capacity limitations that will only get worse in the coming decades.

A critical component of the effort to increase airport capacity is the implementation of technological advances needed to bring our airspace into the 21st century. This is why QEDC was a founding member of the National Coalition to Advance NextGen. NextGen is a complete overhaul of the national airspace system, from the air traffic control system to its airports, using 21st-century, satellitebased technologies, operational improvements and new procedures. The system includes never-before-attempted innovations designed to ensure future safety, capacity and environmental goals.

Portions of NextGen are already in place or being tested around the country, including in New York. Working together, New York area airports and airlines including United and jetBlue, have initiated improvements that permit some flights to fly more precise, direct paths that preserve safety, save time, save fuel and lower emissions. These changes will help ease delays and cancellations, which will in turn ensure that LGA and JFK continue to serve as engines for job growth for Queens and all of New York City.

Seth Bornstein is executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation

 

 

Plane returns to LaGuardia after engine failure


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

A Maine-bound flight had to turn around not long after takeoff Wednesday due to an engine failure, officials said.

An engine shut down in-air during Delta Connection flight 6256 not long after it left LaGuardia, according to the airline. The flight returned to LaGuardia, landed safely and taxied the runway.

There were no injuries during the incident, a Port Authority spokesperson said.

The failed engine had some Flushing residents worried about the roar in the sky.

One resident, a licensed pilot, described the sound “like a bulldozer coming down the street, only faster and overhead.” He added the engine made a repetitive clunking sound as it passed over the area.

 

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Flyers feel delays from furloughs


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Weather is not the only thing delaying travelers this week.

U.S. government spending cuts forced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ax $637 million from its budget this year and to furlough it staff, the FAA confirmed.

Air traffic controllers are now required to take one day off without pay for every 10 days of work. That will come to 11 days of furlough per employee by the end of the year.

With fewer eyes on the skies, the FAA estimates the furlough could delay as many as 6,700 flights per day at 13 of the country’s largest hubs, including John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport.

On Monday, the first weekday of the furloughs, JFK already experienced delays.

“I didn’t know about [the furlough], but I’ve been waiting for my flight for over an hour now. I’m flying to Tampa and it’s been delayed,” said Matt Frankel.

“My flight has been delayed for almost two hours. This is ridiculous,” said one traveler.

But Joan Lamercka said she had no issues with her flight.

“My flight actually went pretty smoothly—no delays. But I can see how this would cause problems,” she said.

The FAA said there were 1,200 delays throughout the counrty as a result of the furlough on Monday. The body attributed an additional 1,400 delays to the weather and other factors.

Senator Charles Schumer said the FAA estimates there could be delays of up to 80 minutes out of LaGuardia and 50 minutes at JFK. He called on the Senate to repeal the cuts and is pushing to make up the revenue by closing tax loopholes.

“These furloughs will turn every day into a blizzard as far as flying is concerned,” said Schumer. “These delays can and must be avoided by passing a balanced budget to repeal the sequester through both closing tax loopholes and by making smart cuts.”

 -Additional reporting  by Luke Tabet

 

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LaGuardia Airport evacuated due to suspicious device


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

LaGuardia Airport was evacuated Tuesday morning when a suspicious device was spotted on the third level of its central terminal building, according to a Port Authority spokesperson.

After an object with wires protruding out of it was reported around 1o:30 a.m., the area was cleared and the New York City bomb squad was sent in to investigate.

The bomb squad quickly determined it was part of a fluorescent light fixture and was non-threatening, said the spokesperson.

Passengers were allowed back in the airport about 45 minutes after the suspicious device was first reported.

Following Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, the New York City Police Department said it was “stepping up security at hotels and other prominent locations in the city through deployment of the NYPD’s critical response vehicles until more about the explosion is learned.” Mayor Michael Bloomberg also urged New Yorkers to “remain vigilant” and report anything that seems suspicious.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly cloudy. High of 46. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Friday night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 32. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Sixth Annual Panorama Challenge NYC Team Trivia Game

At the Queens Museum of Art, participate in the world’s only geographical trivia-based game night involving the world’s largest architectural model The Panorama of the City of New York. This challenge involves audio clues and laser-pointers highlighting assorted NYC landmarks, bridges, neighborhoods, parks and more. $10 suggested donation with all proceeds supporting the City Reliquary Museum in Williamsburg. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Two charged with murder, kidnapping for deadly South Richmond Hill fire

Authorities have arrested and charged two men in conjunction with the South Richmond Hill fire that revealed one man bound and shot. Read more: Queens Courier

Metro-North, LIRR fare hikes go into effect

The first round of MTA fare and toll hikes went into effect Friday morning. Read more: CBS New York

City Council wants Albany to give tax relief for Sandy homeowners

Homeowners who decide to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy may find that they are paying for the privilege. Read more: NY1

Breezy Point residents still planning Wounded Warriors event

Residents in Breezy Point are committed to hosting their annual Wounded Warriors event despite all the storm damage. Read more: Fox New York

Man arrested at LaGuardia after switchblades found in carry on, authorities say

Authorities at LaGuardia Airport arrested a man Wednesday that they say had three switchblades in his carry-on luggage. Read more: NY1

Obama to hold budget talks with congressional leaders

A fiscal deadline all but blown, President Obama says he once again wants to seek a big fiscal deal that would raise taxes and trim billions from expensive and ever growing entitlement programs. Read more: ABC New York/AP

NFL player arrested for criminal possession of a weapon at LaGuardia Airport


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

NFL player Da’Quan Bowers was arrested Monday morning for carrying a weapon in his suitcase at LaGuardia Airport.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon after the 22-year-old told a US Airways ticket agent he was carrying a .40-caliber pistol and a magazine of bullets while checking in his suitcase for his flight to Raleigh, N.C..

Bowers was arraigned Monday night and posted $10,000 bond at Queens Criminal Court.

According to the Daily News, if Bowers is convicted of just one of the charges, he could face a minimum jail sentence of 3 1/2 years.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy. High of 45. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Monday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 34. Winds less than 5 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Japanese Classical Dance for Kids at Resobox

This workshop for kids ages 8-11 at Resobox in Long Island City teaches the 400-year-old nichibu dance popularized in kabuki. Performer and writer Helen Moss leads the class in the elegant Soke Fujima style. All experience levels are welcome, and all materials, including fans and kimonos, are provided. Starts at 5:30 p.m. Classes for ages 12 and above follow at 6:30pm. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

NYC school bus drivers will not strike Monday: union

New York City school bus drivers will not strike on Monday, a union spokesperson told NBC New York Sunday night, but that doesn’t mean a work stoppage still isn’t possible in the days ahead. Read more: NBC New York

Marketing campaign targets Sandy victims with threats of hefty fines

A firm that cleans up oils spills is preying on Sandy-battered homeowners by circulating an official looking letter threatening hefty fines, angry residents said. Read more: New York Daily News

Teachers irate as Bloomberg likens union to the N.R.A.

Of all the polarizing things Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has said and done over the years, from banning large sugary drinks to supporting congestion pricing, few have generated the sort of viral backlash that has unexpectedly mounted after his weekly radio show on Friday. Read more: New York Times

Obama signs bill for federal flood insurance for Sandy victims

President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that releases $9.7 billion for a flood insurance program for Hurricane Sandy victims. Read more: NY1

Storm panel recommends major changes in New York

A new commission formed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, charged with figuring out how New York should adapt in the long term to cope with worsening storms amid climate change and population growth, has recommended an extensive menu of programs: it includes turning some of the state’s industrial shoreline back into oyster beds, hardening the electric and natural gas systems, and improving the scope and availability of insurance coverage, according to a draft version obtained by The New York Times. Read more: New York Times

Business interest group takes on New York’s run-down airports

Business leaders embarrassed by the sorry state of the city’s airports have formed a new advocacy group to press for improvements. Read more: New York Daily News

Obama taps Hagel for Pentagon, Brennan for CIA

President Barack Obama on Monday will nominate Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, two potentially controversial picks for his second-term national security team. Read more: AP

 

 

LaGuardia Airport to get $3.6 billion makeover


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

LGA

LaGuardia Airport’s $3.6 billion facelift is getting ready for its closeup.

The terminal, built in 1964 and designed to hold eight million passengers, is set to undergo a series of developments over the next six to 10 years. According to Thomas Bosco, LaGuardia Airport’s general manager, 11 million people travel through the airport each year, and estimates that by 2030, the number will reach 17.5 million passengers.

“[The terminal] is over 50 years old. It’s beyond its useful life,” said Bosco. “It’s virtually obsolete in every functional area.”

The main developments will occur mostly on the aeronautic side, pushing the terminal considerably closer to the Grand Central Parkway to accommodate larger capacity aircraft. Currently, the 35 gate terminal houses DC-9 planes which require towing by ground vehicles to go from the runway to the gate.

LaGuardia Airport accommodates about 1,150 planes daily – roughly a thousand fewer crafts than land at JFK Airport every 24 hours. While Bosco said the expansion will not increase turnaround due to federal regulation caps at 75 flights per hour, upgrading to larger aircraft will accommodate the airport’s growth in the number of passengers. The larger planes are quieter, burn cleaner fuel and emit fewer emissions and decrease the average number of delayed flights – providing what Bosco believes is a more ecologically friendly environment.

“You’re not stopping, you’re not using ground support vehicles and you’re not blocking other planes as they’re trying to leave,” he said.

According to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, an external contractor will be hired to conduct an environmental assessment, ensuring the expansion will not harm local ecosystems or cause mass amounts of pollution. The agency will examine factors such as noise, hazardous materials, wetlands and water and air quality. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not be consulted as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the lead agency handling the development.

The LaGuardia Airport development is also slated to create much-needed permanent jobs. According to Bosco, for every one million passengers, the FAA’s Regional Air Service Demand study cited an increase in 4,100 jobs and $4 billion in annual economic activity. The airport executive estimates there will also be a boom in the number temporary construction jobs, somewhere in the thousands.

Bosco said construction on the main terminal will begin in the fall of 2014 and last for the next six to 10 years. Regardless of the development, Bosco said flights will not be moved to other city airports and the transit hub is expected to remain fully operational.

“The challenge here is to do open heart surgery on the marathon runner while she’s running a marathon,” said Bosco. “We’ve got to build an entire new terminal of 35 gates while we’re operating the existing terminal with 35 gates, and that’s the challenge – but we think we’re up to the task.”

According to a spokesperson from the Port Authority, the project’s multibillion-dollar cost will be carried by a combination of Port Authority sale of Bonds, a $4.50 passenger facility charge tagged on to every airline ticket, and a possible partnership with a private company, yet to be determined.

FAA approves controversial airplane route


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File Photo

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.”

JFK to reopen tomorrow, no timetable for LaGuardia


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will reopen John F. Kennedy International Airport tomorrow with limited service while LaGuardia will remain closed following the devastation brought on by Hurricane Sandy.

Monday, October 29 air carriers ceased all operations in to and out of the Queens airports, and Monday night at 8 p.m., the airports themselves started to follow suit.

“Due to floodwaters generated by Hurricane Sandy, the Port Authority has closed LaGuardia Airport until further notice,” said the transit organization.

The next morning, JFK International closed its doors as well.

The Port Authority advises travelers to stay up to date by checking www.panynj.gov, and stay informed about safety precautions and best practices for New York State via www.governor.ny.gov/stormwatch.

Select Bus Service coming to LaGuardia Airport


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the MTA

A faster commute is in the future for Woodside and Jackson Heights straphangers traveling to LaGuardia Airport, the city’s top transit leaders announced last week.

Three Select Bus Service routes — said to bring faster and more reliable service to the boroughs with its streamlined stops and pay-before-boarding feature — are slated to be launched from Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens, beginning as soon as next year, officials said.

“Select Bus Service improves travel times, enhances safety and increases ridership wherever we have installed it,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “This new Select Bus Service to LaGuardia will not only cut travel time for people flying in and out of New York, but it will also benefit New Yorkers who commute to work at the airport every day from Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx.”

There are currently four existing Select Bus Service routes in the city — two in Manhattan, one in the Bronx and one in Staten Island, according to the MTA.

The M60 Select Bus Service route — via 125th Street in Manhattan — is being proposed as one of the new routes, as is one from Woodside and Jackson Heights, via the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The third being explored is a Select Bus Service route from Webster Avenue in the Bronx, said officials, who are looking to connect the three boroughs and improve local bus service in all three areas.

“LaGuardia Airport is a transportation hub and a city unto itself that needs a better connection to the transit network and the region’s economy,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “These routes will open the terminal doors to new neighborhoods and bring more reliable local service to people across three boroughs.”

The borough’s northwest airport is currently only directly served by five bus routes, including four in Queens and one in Manhattan that authorities say is often choked by traffic and crammed with commuters. The fast-track bus routes, they say, are expected to shave off 10 to 40 minutes in travel time.

City officials — who are also looking into implementing bus-only lanes in some areas and installing technology that would keep buses from getting stuck at traffic lights — say they are still in the public meeting process of refining the three exact routes, its stop locations and service features.

FAA says it should have notified residents of increased plane noise


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

Borough leaders lambasted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after they said a concluded trial period testing a new departure procedure at LaGuardia Airport took off and landed without proper community notice.

“This is the borough board … This is where you start. You don’t end up here. I don’t think you’re in touch,” said Borough President Helen Marshall to invited government air traffic control representatives at a September 10 board meeting. “I don’t understand why you didn’t let us know about this a long time ago.”

Residents from Bayside and downtown Flushing say they had been tormented since mid-June by the ear-splitting roar of low-flying airplanes they say soared past their homes by the minute each day from 6 a.m. to noon and then again from 6 p.m. to midnight.

They joined a borough-wide chorus of homeowners, some in Briarwood and Woodside, who say they were also blighted by the thundering turbulence.

“This seems like something very unfair to do to this borough,” Marshall said. “We have to consider the people.”

FAA officials said the agency has finished with a six-month trial — called the “Tennis Climb” — to test a departure procedure at LaGuardia Airport, in which departing traffic turns left to the north off Runway 13.

The Tennis Climb trial — which began February 13 and came to a close August 13 — 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.

The separation, Tamburro said, was successfully ensured during the trial run, but the project is now currently being analyzed by the FAA’s environmental office. The FAA said they would take in public comment before making the new route permanent.

While Tamburro touted the agency’s findings during the six-month test period, which included avoiding about 2,635 aircraft delays at JFK, borough board members accused the FAA of using the Queens communities as “guinea pigs.”

“We are very sensitive in this borough,” said Community Board 10 Chair Betty Braton. “In our homes and on our streets, we know where there are changes made. Notifying us of a test allows us to notify the people.”

Councilmember Daniel Dromm chastised the agency for its after-the-fact reporting to the board.

“You’re telling us now that this has already been happening — for what purpose?” he asked.

According to Tamburro, additional environmental studies for the pilot program were not required because it was modeled after an existing and increasingly outdated procedure called the “Flushing Climb,” which is utilized during the U.S. Open but does not involve the use of RNAV systems.

“We probably should have done a better job in notifying people even though there was no requirement to do so,” said Jeffrey Clarke, the FAA’s New York district office manager. “So I consider that a lesson learned as we go forth from here.”

Clarke also said the agency is in the process of making the transition to a new era of flight called “NextGen,” which upgrades airports to satellite-based technology that lets pilots know the precise locations of other airplanes around them.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast in the morning, then mostly cloudy. High of 81. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 68. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT of the DAY: “The Adventures of Tintin”

Come to the Little Bay Park outdoor amphitheater for a free family movie overlooking the Long Island Sound. Tonight’s feature is “The Adventures of Tintin,”based on the beloved series of children’s books. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

City to begin $70 million plan to alleviate flooding in Springfield Gardens

A basement water pump is a necessity for many residents in Springfield Gardens and other deluge-prone areas of southeastern Queens. Read more: New York Daily News

Authorities offer $45K reward for alleged gunman who shot policeman

Authorities have increased a reward to $45,000 for information leading to the arrest of a man who allegedly shot a police officer in Jamaica, Queens earlier this month. Read more: NY1

Bones found near LaGuardia Airport

Police are investigating a set of remains that were found in a marshy area near LaGuardia Airport Monday night. Read more: NBC New York

B’klyn man loading cement onto truck struck and killed by school bus

A beloved married father and grandfather from Brooklyn was killed early today when he was struck and killed by a school bus carrying mentally disabled children in Queens, cops and witnesses said. Read more: New York Post

Majority in city see police as favoring whites, poll finds

A significant majority of New Yorkers say the Police Department favors whites over blacks, according to a new poll by The New York Times. Read more: New York Times

Mayor: City budget hole from stalled taxi program could result in layoffs

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to expand taxi service to all five boroughs would not just have been a boon for riders. It also would have put an extra $1.4 billion in the city’s coffers. Read more: NY1

10 MTA workers charged for alleged false reports

Prosecutors charged 10 Metropolitan Transit Authority employees with falsifying reports to suggest they had completed or supervised safety inspections in the New York subway system, District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said Monday. Read more: Wall Street Journal

Record high temperatures expected in Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

Less than a month into summer, New York City is already in the midst of its third heat wave with triple digit temperatures still on the way.

Temperatures are expected to hit 100 tomorrow — which would match the record high — with the heat index closer to 110. Average temperatures for this time of year are in the mid 80s.

The last time LaGuardia Airport reached 100 degrees was July 22 of last year.

Click here for a list of free pools in Queens

Queens has already recorded more than 10 days with temperatures above 90 this year.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued an excessive heat watch for the potentially dangerous hot spell.

Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year, according to the NWS.

Tips to keep your pets safe in the heat

Cooling centers will be open throughout the city tomorrow offering an escape from the sweltering heat. Click here to find the one nearest you. 

Cooling centers are air conditioned places, such as Department for the Aging senior centers, Salvation Army community centers, and public libraries that are open to the public during heat emergencies.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management has offered some tips to staying cool:

New Yorkers should heed the following tips to stay cool during this week’s extreme heat:

• Use an air conditioner if you have one.

• If you do not have an air conditioner, go to a cooler place such as a store, mall, museum, movie theater, or friend/family member’s air-conditioned home, or visit a cooling center.

• Check on your at-risk family, friends and neighbors often and help them get to a cool place.

• Use a fan only when the air conditioner is on or the windows are open. Fans alone will not keep you cool when it is really hot outside. Fans work best at night to bring in cooler air from outside.

• Drink plenty of water or other fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine or high amounts of sugar.

• Never leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car.

• Avoid strenuous activity, or plan it for the coolest part of the day, usually in the morning between 4 AM and 7 AM or in the evening. If you exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. If you are used to regular exercise, just keep in mind the symptoms of heat illness when exercising and stop or rest if any occur.

• Be careful if you take a cold shower to stay cool – sudden temperature changes can make you feel dizzy or sick.

 

Fowl Strikes Cause Foul Feelings


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Recent collisions between birds and airplanes departing city airports could give a much-needed “all clear” for negotiations between the Port Authority and wildlife conservation groups.

While recent uproar mainly surrounds possible runway expansion plans at JFK, in-flight crashes with birds came under scrutiny when a Los Angeles-bound flight was quickly grounded after a bird was sucked into its engine shortly after taking off on Thursday, April 19.

Tarmac expansion came under fire when the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey announced its proposal to extend the airport’s runway, expected to cover a significant portion of the Jamaica Bay area, in February, 2011. The 400-acre area of land, including wetlands and shoreline, was designated as a wildlife refuge, park and recreation area by the National Parks System in 1972.

Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder believes conservationists attempting to protect the birds and those trying to ensure the safety of plane passengers need to collaborate.

While preserving Jamaica Bay has long since been a priority on Goldfeder’s platform, he proclaims he is not for working against the airports, adding that there is always a balance to be found.

Goldfeder also noted that many people believe the birds striking the planes are not the same birds nesting in the Jamaica Bay area.

A source close to the situation suggested increasing traffic out of the city’s other airports, LaGuardia and Newark, is a better solution than filling in Jamaica Bay.

Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority, claimed that the agency’s wildlife control protocol is above and beyond Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, insisting they are among the industry’s most effective.

“Our wildlife biologists and staff efforts to minimize threats to aircraft include reducing nesting areas, removing standing water and eliminating food sources,” said Coleman. “We also use pyrotechnics to disperse birds. We believe those efforts are effective since the number of incidents at JFK resulting in aircraft damage has remained about the same since 2008.”

Dan Mundy, president and founder of Jamaica Bay Eco Watchers, believes the recent increase in collisions Mundy mentioned the famed incident of US Airways Flight 1549, when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was forced to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River after striking a flock of Canadian geese in January of 2009. Mundy alleged that high-flying fowl cause more severe problems than those closer to the ground, adding that groups of migrating birds can be dangerous to planes, as with Flight 1549.

According to published reports, Sullenberger opposes the mayor’s plan to put a trash station near LaGuardia Airport — a decision that will inevitably bring more birds to the area.

Acknowledging that the Port Authority takes measures to scare away birds, such as simulated gunshots and preying falcons, Mundy wondered why plane manufacturers have yet to design a system to prevent birds from being sucked into engines.

Mundy added that bird strikes are not just a problem with airplanes. Several tall buildings, including the Empire State Building, have caused the demise of birds killed by flying directly into the glass windows.