Tag Archives: LaGuardia Airport

BP Marshall joins chorus for FAA exemption


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Borough President Helen Marshall has joined the ranks of Queens congressmembers who are urging the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to exempt two major city airports from a new federal rule.

“While the FAA’s Regional Administrator for our area has made an effort to work with my office and others in the borough, I believe that this is not the time to evade community input,” Marshall said in a letter to the administration.

The proposed FAA provision, officials said, would establish two new categorical exclusions, which would essentially allow the FAA to permanently implement new flight changes without conducting environmental studies.

Marshall and Congressmembers Steve Israel, Grace Meng and Joseph Crowley wrote a letter last week calling for the head of the FAA, Administrator Michael Huerta, to exempt LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports from the order.

A categorical exclusion was applied to a newly approved flight path over Queens called the TNNIS IV climb. Residents said the change has brought upon a drastic increase in air noise.

“To implement such changes without first subjecting their potential impacts to the rigorous scrutiny of experts and the public during the environmental review process would, in my opinion, be irresponsible,” Marshall said.

Queens residents still have until September 30 to submit public comment to the FAA on the proposed rule by visiting www.regulations.gov or faxing comments to 202-493-2251.

Community Boards 7 and 13 passed a resolution this week urging the governor to support a bill that would require the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to conduct a noise study.

The boards join Community Board 11, which passed a resolution earlier this month.

 

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Pols call on FAA to exempt Queens airports from proposed federal rule


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Congressmember Steve Israel’s office

Two major city airports should be exempt from a new federal rule that would allow flight changes to be made without an environmental review, Queens congressmembers are demanding.

Representatives Steve Israel, Grace Meng and Joseph Crowley are urging the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to continue to implement change impact studies at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports.

A proposed FAA provision would establish two new categorical exclusions to avoid an environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act, elected officials said.

The new rule, officials said, would essentially allow the FAA to permanently implement new flight procedures without conducting environmental studies.

“The FAA should be focused on reducing noise and air pollution,” Israel said, “not making it easier to bypass vital environmental studies.”

The congressmembers said the head of the FAA, Administrator Michael Huerta, has the ability to exempt the two airports, which use “the most congested airspace in the country.”

A categorical exclusion was applied to a newly approved flight path over Queens called the TNNIS IV climb. Residents said the change has brought upon a barrage of low-flying planes and an increase in air noise.

“It is outrageous that the FAA is seeking greater leeway to exempt itself from vital environmental studies which determine whether or not new airplane routes — and the accompanying noise — adversely impact affected communities,” Meng said.

“The agency’s plan to further sidestep this critical process is a slap in the face to all who live and work underneath new flight patterns,” she continued.

Queens residents have until September 30 to submit public comment to the FAA on the proposed rule by visiting http://www.regulations.gov.

They can also fax comments to 202-493-2251 or mail them to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue S.E., Washington, D.C. 20590-0001.

“There isn’t a single plane that comes or goes from our airports that doesn’t fly directly over someone’s house,” Crowley said.

“Given this reality,” Crowley continued, “whenever the FAA is considering changes to the way flights arrive at and depart from our airports, the agency must thoroughly study the impacts it will have on our communities, especially with respect to noise.”

 

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200 homes in Bayside, Flushing file airplane noise complaints last month


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

Almost all the noise complaints filed last month at three major airports came from Queens, according to data obtained by The Courier.

More than 700 calls about airplane noise flooded LaGuardia Airport this June, while 348 grievances came in about John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to statistics from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Out of 1,061 total complaints that poured in last month, only 18 complaints were made to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

The complaints came from almost 200 homes in Queens, mostly in Flushing and Bayside, according to Port Authority data collected June 1-30.

About 500 complaints to LaGuardia were from those neighborhoods, with a majority of calls coming from residents near Travis Triangle and Bowne Park.

Residents from across the Queens border in nearby Floral Park made most of the complaints to JFK, a total of 200.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a new flight pattern last December, much to the dismay of residents who say the procedure causes nonstop noise from low-flying planes.

The Port Authority and the FAA said they expect upcoming projects to reduce noise.

Representatives from both agencies addressed the Queens Borough President’s Aviation Advisory Council on July 22.

They said plans to soon rebuild and modernize the Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia would allow for larger planes on the runways. With more passengers per plane, that would mean fewer aircraft in the sky.

Officials also said by 2016, airports will be mandated to only use planes with engine sound-absorbing designs.

Planes going in and out of New York airports, with the exception of corporate aircraft, are currently “Stage 3” planes. The designation means engines are moved further into the interior of the plane to lessen noise.

Propellers are also shaped to deaden sound.

Barbara Brown, chair of the Eastern Queens Alliance, said larger planes would not be helpful.

“Even if flights are getting quieter, that won’t mean anything if there are more flights taking place in general,” she said.

Port Authority officials said they are also in the process of replacing 22 noise monitoring terminals and should be done by spring 2014.

They added that a public website will soon launch for people to monitor noise decibel readings and file noise complaints.

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and multiple congressmembers from the city and Long Island have called for more action. They recently sent a letter to Port Authority executive director Patrick Foye urging his agency to create an airport advisory committee.

“It is simple common sense to say that the largest metropolitan area in the country should have an airport advisory committee like the one we are proposing,” Schumer said, “a body that would help increase quality of life for locals.”

The New York state legislature passed a bill this year that would require the Port Authority to conduct a one-time study to determine the effects of aircraft noise on Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and Jersey residents.

It awaits Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature in New York and ultimately needs New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s approval as well.

Additional reporting by Johann Hamilton

 

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Officials investigating LaGuardia landing gear collapse that injured 10


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is currently investigating a rough plane landing at LaGuardia Airport yesterday that left 10 people injured.

As a Southwest Airlines flight from Nashville, Tenn. with 149 people on board was touching down at the airport just before 5:45 a.m. Monday its front landing gear collapsed, according to a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesperson.

Ten people received minored injuries from the bumpy landing. Four were treated at the scene and six were taken to the hospital, said the spokesperson.

The airport shut down following the incident and did not reopen until 7:05 p.m Monday.

The runway where the Southwest flight landed remained closed until 6:59 a.m. today.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Tuesday: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. High of 86. Winds from the SSE at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.4 in. possible. Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms, then a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 75. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Invasive Pigments

A new exhibit opening at the Queens Botanical Garden on Tuesday, July 23, Invasive Pigments is a series of watercolor-like paintings which explores the migration and proliferation of weeds and other “unintentional” plants in tandem with human movement. Artist Ellie Irons created colors by extracting pigments from these local, invasive plants, and uses them to construct map-like portraits to illustrate the species’ movement into local ecosystems. Free with Garden admission.  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Southwest plane removed after nosedive at LaGuardia Airport

The Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 jet whose nose gear collapsed after landing at LaGuardia Airport Monday afternoon is being removed from the runway early Tuesday as the investigation into the incident moves forward. Read more: ABC New York

Queens man arrested for Facebook posts after Zimmerman verdict

George Zimmerman is free after killing Trayvon Martin. But a Queens man is in jail for what he posted on Facebook in response to last week’s not guilty verdict. Read more: WNYC

Hot dogs, pretzels, $7M in health violations offered by NYC street vendors

This number is truly sickening — scofflaw street food vendors, who ignore New York City fines and cleanliness all the same, owe the city more than $7 million. Read more: New York Daily News 

Tree lovers in mourning at the Evergreens Cemetery

Dozens of trees, some more than a century old, were cut down in the Evergreens Cemetery, a case of arborcide that leaves only an unsightly bald patch on the rolling hills of the celebrated boneyard. Read more: New York Daily News 

Report: Anti-Semitic incidents jumped in New York in 2012

New statistics Monday said the number of anti-Semitic incidents jumped in New York State last year, and the state ranks at the top of the nation for such acts. Read more: CBS New York

World awaits first glimpse of Kate and William’s royal baby boy

All eyes are glued Tuesday to the hospital where Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and husband Prince William welcomed their first child, as a joyful public waits for its first glimpse of the new royal heir. Read more: CNN

 

Pols push for two-state study of airplane noise


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Airport operators have become the target of the latest localized effort to quiet Queens skies.

The state legislature has passed a bill that would require the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to conduct a one-time study to determine the effects of aircraft noise on Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and Jersey residents.

“With this study on aircraft noise, we can best determine the use of certain runways and flight paths and use federal funding to solve this serious issue,” said Assemblymember Edward Ra, who represents parts of Nassau County.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a new flight pattern last December, much to the dismay of residents who say the procedure causes nonstop noise from low-flying planes.

The bill would require the bi-state authority to submit its findings to both state legislatures by next June, depending on when it is enacted.

It awaits Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature in New York and ultimately needs Governor Chris Christie’s approval in New Jersey, though it was only introduced in the New Jersey Senate last month.

“We’re confident that if we get this study done, it will prove that there is a significant impact on our communities and the FAA and Port Authority will be required to find measures to remediate this problem,” said Assemblymember Ed Braunstein.

The legislation would also require the Port Authority — which operates five hubs in New York and New Jersey, including John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia Airports — to hold biennial public hearings.

“It is about time that all the communities that are affected stand up and say to the FAA and the Port Authority, ‘We’re not going to take it anymore,’’ said State Senator Tony Avella. “We may live by the airports, but when we all moved here, the air traffic was nothing like it is now.”

The FAA has since formed a committee to review its decision-making process, officials announced in May, and has agreed to hear out impacted communities.

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.”