Residents in New Hyde Park have coming down over the village approaching JFK airport, but this summer a second noise source has only added to complaints: that coming from helicopters flying out to the east end of Long Island.
At the August 21 meeting of the New Hyde Park Village Board at the , resident Ed Powers noted that if they were above 1,100-1,200 feet “you barely notice it,” meaning the noise generated from airplane engines.
Currently, planes come over the village to approach two runways at JFK, known as 22 Left and 22 Right, which, according to Port Authority statistics, 22L saw increases in traffic of 800 flights specifically at night from September to December than the same period in 2010. The landing strip also was used more in the past 3 years, accounting for 10 percent of all arrivals at the airport in 2009, 16.88 in 2010 and 16.19 percent in 2011. One of the airport’s runways was closed during the summer of 2010 for reconstruction and widening, accounting for another jump in traffic over residential areas.
“It’s a route they’re never going to get rid of, but they shouldn’t be active when 22 left and right are active, that’s all, that solves the problem,” Powers said. “When they’re up another 400-500 feet, you barely notice it.”
Airplane safety regulations require planes to land into the wind, which has been coming from the southwest for the past 19 months, placing their patterns directly over residential neighborhoods.
Trustee Donald Barbieri noted that in a , a federal rule would force helicopters have to fly over the water, but only from Huntington eastward.
“It doesn’t affect us at all,” he said.
The agreement was that as of August 1 helicopters should not fly over residential neighborhoods, eschewing the track route until further notice on an order issued in July or late June, in favor of water routes and at a minimum altitude of 2,500 feet, weather permitting. Exemptions could be issued if aircraft cannot fly over the water.
“Like a lot of different government directives, what’s called for lack of a better term, lack of enforceability makes the directive a paper tiger, so that may be part of it too,” Mayor Daniel Petruccio said. “If you get to an open field like either by us or go a little further south all the way to Plattdeutsch, there’s a big soccer field ther and I’m down there a lot, if you just stare up, they’re coming in at parallel patterns and one right after another, it’s less than a minute apart.”
The creation of a route over the Long Island Expressway as an option or alternative to using the tracks out east for helicopters was something Barbieri mentioned should be monitored.
“I don’t know how far along (it is),” he noted.
Powers stated that so-called “” airplane engine technology known as stage 3 engines which would allow planes to come in closer together, it could also allow them to descend more rapidly closer to airports to reduce noise.
“The question is, why do we allow those helicopters to fly period, to create this annoyance to all of us?” Barbieri said. “Those helicopters, that fleet of helicopters, obviously utilized by fellows who have their homes out east, are annoying all of us. Those aircraft cannot fly over the water irregardless of whether or not the wind is blowing from east, west, north or south.”
In North Hempstead, residents can dial 311 to so a record is compiled.
In his report, Barbieri stated that he attended a meeting at this past month in regard to plane noise.
“What the agents representing the airports and the (Port Authority) ... was, believe it or not, these winds and the direction they’ve blown are responsible for the increase in plane traffic over many communities who were there voicing strong objections to what they had noted as an increase in traffic.”
He went on to say that “it was again discussed that tickets could be written to pilots who fly at too low an altitude on their descent. Certainly there was no confirmation by the fellas at the airport that that was in fact happening. There was strong objection from many, mostly government officials attended this particular meeting.”
Babieri added that much of the discussion in the meeting centered around how the delays and “tardiness” in planes taking off in the New York area had “tremendous impact on the national aviation system and that we in this area from Kennedy were responsible... the number of aircraft that were delayed and were not leaving the airport on times that they were scheduled were leading to delays throughout the system nationwide.”
Out of the 31 major airports in the country, JFK has ranked among the bottom three in terms of number of flights delayed. The other two are LaGuardia and Newark-Liberty. There are approximately about 3,000 total movements of aircrafts at JFK per day.
More westerly-bound aircraft were also noticed making flights over Long Island after takeoff over the weekend.
“The bottom line was that there was efficiency that they were trying to achieve in doing so; in utilizing the airspace in a different way which enabled them not to fly more aircraft but to fly the aircraft that currently depart at Kennedy in a more efficient manner that where there was more likelihood that they could stay on time,” Barbieri said. “That wasn’t well received by many people in the audience.”
Petruccio recalled the statements of a TVASNAC (Town-Village Aircraft Safety & Noise Abatement Committee) representative from East Williston who consistently has spoken about the elevation of the aircraft: “The big thing in his community, if they would come in at the elevation they’re supposed to, he wouldn’t be bothered by it.”
A meeting of TVASNAC was .
“If you’re coming to the meeting thinking you’re going to have your 5 minutes with a federal representative, that is not what happens,” Petruccio said, noting that the meeting would focus on noise relating to operational needs. “People that come think that they’re going to be addressed by their representative. We still as yet... our local Federal representative at the lowest level for us, our congresswoman has yet to attend one of these meetings in person.”
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, who represents New Hyde Park, was .