Tag Archives: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Airplane noise study to examine reach of aircraft noise


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

Representatives from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) gave a presentation on the Part 150 Airport Noise Compatibility Studies for LaGuardia (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International (JFK) airports during Monday’s meeting of the Queens Borough Board at Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens.

“Part 150 of the Federal Regulations enable airport operators to undertake studies that provide the public with information about existing and future non-compatible land uses around airports and to create measures that reduce and prevent the introduction of new non-compatible land uses,” explained Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

This study will examine the levels of airplane noise around both LGA and JFK, create noise exposure maps (NEMs) for the areas and develop noise compatibility programs (NCPs) for impacted land uses within areas with levels of high noise.

“The Port Authority is conducting these two studies with the goal of finding potential mitigation measures to reduce levels of aircraft noise exposure that are deemed significant,” said Edward Knoesel, senior manager of environmental and noise programs for the Aviation Department at PANYNJ. “And that is the federal government that makes determination.”

The study aims to find how land is being used within high noise level areas around the airports. Certain land uses, such as a cargo factory, are acceptable in high noise level areas, while other land uses, such as residential buildings, should not be allowed there.

Information from all 2014 flight operations from the airports will be used to help create the NEMs, which will be presented to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2016. FAA regulations also require PANYNJ to also present a map for a forecast of operations five years into the future.

The NEMs use a day-night average sound level (DNL) to figure out how much noise is concentrated over each area. Certain land uses within the DNL 65, which is a day-night average of 65 decibels, are considered incompatible.

Once the noise impacts are assessed, measures to reduce aircraft noise and limit its impact on surrounding areas, through noise abatement or noise mitigation, will be considered. Noise abatement reduces noise from the source, in this case airplanes, and noise mitigation helps bring down noise levels inside of the structures themselves, through possible soundproofing building materials.

These options, along with others, will be explored in the NCP section of the study.

“The noise compatibility planning explores operational, that means how to move the aircraft, land use and administrative measures to minimize aircraft noise exposure in that area,” Knoesel continued. “The FAA approves individual measures…they may approve some, they may disapprove others.”

The FAA has 180 days to review the proposed measures and either approve, disapprove or request more time to examine the measures.

Once measures are accepted, implementation will begin.

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Port Authority selects group to build, manage LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal Building


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey finally announced Thursday the winning group for a $3.6 billion project to build and manage LaGuardia Airport’s new Central Terminal Building.

The bi-state agency selected LaGuardia Gateway Partners, a team comprised of Swedish construction firm Skanska, Vantage Airport Group and various financial firms. The group was selected over the other project finalist, which includes a team comprised of Tutor Perini Corp., Goldman Sachs Group, TAV Construction and other firms.

The Global Gateway Alliance, which supports improvements to the local airports, applauded the selection of the partnership, and called for the Port Authority to act quickly so the team can start the project to replace the more than five-decade-old building, known as Terminal B.

“A new terminal is the linchpin in finally changing LaGuardia’s reputation from ‘third world’ to world class,” the organization said in a statement. “But the project has already faced delays, so we urge the Port and the winning consortium to finalize the agreement quickly and get redevelopment underway so travelers don’t have to wait one day longer than necessary for a first-class experience at LaGuardia.”

The Port Authority was supposed to pick the group that would build and manage the terminal last year, but that selection was delayed because Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched a design contest for the terminal. The Port Authority hasn’t selected a winning design despite having announced the group that will build the terminal.

An advisory panel overseeing the redesign contest recommended that the new terminal include a central “great hall” to serve as the airport’s entry, a 100- to 200-room hotel in the airport, people-movers between terminals, and docking for a future AirTrain, which Cuomo announced earlier this year.

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FEMA approves $28M in flood protection projects for LaGuardia Airport


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

LaGuardia Airport is receiving a new level of protection to keep the facility and travelers safe from future storms such as Hurricane Sandy.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that FEMA approved over $28 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds to go toward helping LaGuardia Airport achieve post-Hurricane Sandy flood mitigation and resiliency initiatives.

“Hurricane Sandy caused significant damage to LaGuardia Airport, but today we are taking an important step toward strengthening its infrastructure so that it is more resilient than ever before,” Cuomo said. “To face the new pattern of extreme weather, we must ensure that vital transportation hubs and economic engines like LaGuardia Airport are ready for the next major storm.”

When Sandy hit the city, LaGuardia’s airfield suffered severe flooding from water rising from Flushing Bay. The airport had to remain closed for three days due to damage to key electrical airfield infrastructure. 

The over $28 million in funds will go toward projects, expected to continue through the end of 2016, such as the construction of a flood wall and rainwater pumping system, and development of two gravity drainage systems on the airfield to advance removal of water in case of flooding. 

The money will also fund upgrades to bring the airport’s backup electrical substations into the primary power system. There will also be improvements to existing emergency generators and installation of new backup generators throughout the airport. 

“We must do everything we can to ensure that LaGuardia is able to withstand extreme weather and resume flight operations as quickly as possible,” said Pat Foye, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive director. 

Since Sandy hit in 2012, resources have been put forth to protect the airfield runways, electrical systems and aeronautical equipment. FEMA’s new grant of $28,148,625 adds onto the agency’s previous grants of more than $2 million.

“While we continue to help communities across New York recover from the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy, it is equally as important to make much-needed investments in our infrastructure to ensure our city is prepared to face the challenges of any future storms,” U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowely said. “There is no question that one of those investments must include LaGuardia Airport, which serves tens of thousands of passengers a day and contributes greatly to our local economy.”

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First QNS Real Estate Conference set for February


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Real Estate Conference logo edit

The growing Queens real estate market will soon have a forum where industry leaders can gather to network and discuss opportunities across the borough.

The premier QNS Real Estate Conference will be held on Feb. 26, 2015, and will feature top real estate firms that are investing in the borough, while welcoming prospective developers, owners, architects and other industry members.

Star Network and The Queens Courier, in association with the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), are hosting the event, which will include a keynote address by Pat Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Real estate website PropertyShark and Flushing Bank are sponsoring the conference.

“This event is a great opportunity for the public to learn about the latest trends and investment information in Queens from the top people in our industry,” said Jamie McShane, REBNY senior vice president for communications. “Queens is becoming increasingly important as we have seen projects from Astoria Cove to Hallets Point, and projects at Queens Plaza South and the Long Island City waterfront, as well as Willets Point. And the members of the REBNY are very involved with a growing number of exciting projects in Queens, our largest borough and the most ethnically diverse county in America.”

The event will be at Terrace on the Park at 52-11 111th St. in Flushing at 8 a.m., beginning with breakfast and ending with three panel discussions.

The panel discussions will focus on why big investment firms are coming to Queens, the experiences of major developers already based in the borough and experts’ perspectives on the market in Ridgewood.

“The Queens market has huge opportunity, and this event will shed light on the power of it,” said Josh Schneps, co-publisher of The Courier. “This event is a perfect platform to do so for the industry. We hope people interested in the Queens market will attend and hopefully make investments in the borough.”

Click here to register for the event.

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Vaughn College completes $40 million renovation of campus


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Tom Sibley/Wilk Marketing Communications

Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology is flying high after the completion of a $40 million renovation and expansion of its more than 70-year-old campus.

The school celebrated the renovation in an event Thursday, unveiling a revitalized main campus building and new flight and air traffic control simulator rooms.

The event marked the end of a three-year campus transformation, which was designed and constructed by Ensign Engineering, Stalco Construction and John Ciardullo Associates.

Vaughn received $32 million in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to soundproof the school’s main 29,000-square-foot building, and used its own money for the remaining upgrades.

The construction was divided into six phases. Phase 1 included the addition of a new atrium lobby, while phases 2 and 3 had renovations to the older sections of the campus.

Phase 4 included a section of the main building and conversion of the old library into offices and classrooms, and phases 5 and 6 included the new flight and traffic control simulator rooms.

The expansion and renovation of Vaughn College included exterior and interior improvements as well as a new soundproof roof at the airplane maintenance hangar.

The expansion and renovation of Vaughn College included exterior and interior improvements as well as a new soundproof roof at the airplane maintenance hangar.

New cutting-edge technology at the renovated and expanded Vaughn College include multiple flight simulators.

New cutting-edge technology at the renovated and expanded Vaughn College includes multiple flight simulators.

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Rep. King discuses homeland security over JFK Airport Chamber of Commerce breakfast


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Salvatore Licata

SALVATORE LICATA

While JFK may be the “safest airport” in the country, far too many people do not take homeland security seriously enough, U.S. Rep. Peter King told an airport civic group on Wednesday.

King, speaking at a JFK Airport Chamber of Commerce breakfast, said airport workers, including Transportation Security Administration and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey personnel, have been successful in hardening the facility against terrorist attacks.

“This is the safest airport in the United States because of these people,” King said.

But, he added, many people are lax on the issue of security.

“Too many people in the U.S. do not take homeland security seriously enough,” said the 11-year congressman. “It is important that we stay aware.

“New York is the number one target [for terrorists].”

King was introduced by Tom Kelliher, president of the Chamber, as “the leader in the ongoing effort of homeland security,” an important topic to one of the nation’s busiest airports.

Raised in Sunnyside, King is the former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and now chairs a subcommittee on counter-terrorism.

He is outspoken on terror and security issues.

“The reality is [some] people in this country have foreign ideology,” he said. “Al-Qaida is adaptive.”

Though the hot topic was the nation’s security, King also discussed the issue of federal funding for Superstorm Sandy victims in New York.

“We had to fight tooth and nail for funding,” he said.

He noted that there had been conflict with insurance companies but the issues have been resolved and the money is now coming through to homeowners and businesses.

“Overall,” he said, “the job is being done and districts are coming back.”

 

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AirTrain to temporaily shut down starting Tuesday night


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

All AirTrain JFK service will be suspended system-wide, from 9 p.m. Tuesday until 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

During the shut down, free bus service will be provided at the following locations:

  • Jamaica Station to Federal Circle Station
  • Federal Circle Station to all airline terminals
  • Federal Circle Station to Lefferts Blvd Station
  • Long-Term Parking Lot 9 to the terminal area
  • In the terminal area

The Port Authority is advising riders to allow for extra travel time during the suspension. The schedule is subject to change and dependent on weather conditions. For updates, click here.

 

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Port Authority bids farewell to K-9 partner


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images Courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) said goodbye to one of its best friends, a German shepherd named Phoenix, who helped protect the city’s travelers for over seven years.

Phoenix, a member of the PAPD K-9 Unit, Explosives Detection, recently passed away after fighting a long battle with cancer.

The bomb-sniffing dog was assigned to the unit in 2007 at 2 years old and since then loyally served alongside PAPD Officer Donald Golding.

“Phoenix never wavered in his dedication to duty,” Port Authority spokesman Joe Pentangelo said. “He was a good will ambassador and a crime fighter, and he will be missed.”

For over seven years, Phoenix, who lived with Golding, started the day at John F. Kennedy International Airport and from there was deployed to various locations throughout the city.

Together with Golding, Phoenix had searched thousands of unattended bags and packages as part of the PAPD’s mission to protect travelers at its airports, seaports, terminals and PATH system, Pentangelo said.

Phoenix was also featured in the PAPD’s 2014 wall calendar and appeared on one of the Port Authority’s public awareness posters.

When he wasn’t taking a bite out of crime, the German shepherd also took part in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s community outreach, where children were able to enjoy his “playful nature,” Pentangelo said.

 

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New TLC facility to protect JFK passengers from illegal ‘hustler’ vehicles


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photo

The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) will now have eyes everywhere at John F. Kennedy International (JFK) Airport.

The TLC and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey unveiled a new satellite enforcement facility at JFK to consistently monitor any illegal “hustler” vehicles trying to get passengers.

“The TLC’s increased vigilance will help protect passengers at JFK Airport by reducing the chances they may unwittingly accept a ride from a fraudulent and potentially unsafe driver pretending to be a legitimate taxi operator,” said Joseph Dunne, Port Chief Security Officer.

Ten to 15 TLC inspectors and supervisors will be at the site during enforcement operations. At LaGuardia Airport, officials have made 192 seizures of illegal vehicles. Since July, there have been more than 800 hustler seizures.

“JFK is an exceptionally active transportation hub,” said David Yassky, TLC Commissioner and Chair. “It is a magnet for illegal for-hire activity. It’s very natural for us to be here and have a permanent home at JFK.”

 

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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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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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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.

PHOTOS: Future One World Trade Center observatory


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Port Authority

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has revealed what the state-of-the-art observatory that will open at One World Trade Center will offer visitors.

On floors 100 to 102 of the building, it has breathtaking views of the city as well as other features.

Its “Skypod” elevators will give visitors the “experience of being outside the building as they make their ascent and descent in a quick 60 seconds,” according to the Port Authority.

The observatory will also offer several dining options and an event space.

“One World Observatory will be a magnificent facility, a championship-caliber attraction that will make Lower Manhattan a premiere destination for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “This spectacular venue is yet another step forward in the rebirth of the World Trade Center, of Lower Manhattan, and demonstrates the remarkable resilience of America.”

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy. Fog early. High of 59. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph. Monday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 48. Winds less than 5 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Greater Astoria Historical Society Christmas Party

Widely regarded as one of the greatest storytellers of all time, Charles Dickens left an indelible mark on how we celebrate the holidays. Tonight the Greater Astoria Historical Society will mark the 200th anniversary of the writer’s birth and have its annual holiday party with music, fun and special raffles. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Up to St. John’s University to continue case against estate of suicide dean, Cecilia Chang

The Queens district attorney will abandon his effort to get back the $1 million the late St. John’s University dean Cecilia Chang embezzled from the school — leaving the university to decide whether to continue the case against the estate of the suicide dean. Read more: New York Daily News

Cuomo to make $42B storm aid pitch to Congress

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be in the nation’s capital to meet with members of Congress as he seeks billions of dollars in federal aid to help New York recover from Superstorm Sandy. Read more: Fox 5 New York

Work week begins with higher tolls on bridges and tunnels

The countdown was on Sunday night to the first morning rush since a new toll hike went into effect for bridges and tunnels run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Read more: CBS New York

Development will damage Flushing Meadows’ role as marshy buffer against storm surge and coastal flooding

The borough of Queens was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Breezy Point, the Rockaways and other neighborhoods were completely devastated and may never be the same. We’d be foolish to think that Sandy was a once-in-a-lifetime storm. Instead, Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene are what we can expect more often in our future with climate change a clear and present danger. Read more: New York Daily New

Pig faces ‘big bad’ co-op

Say it oink so! Residents of a Queens co-op say the pet pig rooting around their courtyard isn’t kosher — and are determined to get the city to evict the unwelcome ungulate from the complex. Read more: New York Post

Some schools in New York, Connecticut to lengthen class time

New York and Connecticut are among five states set to announce Monday that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools beginning next year. Read more: CBS New York

 No ‘fiscal cliff’ deal without higher rates, Geithner say

The Obama administration will entertain any Republican plans to avoid a so-called “fiscal cliff” at year’s end, but Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the Bush-era tax cuts for top incomes must go. Read more: CNN