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Letter to Executive Director Patrick Foye and Administrator Huerta - New York Noise Monitors

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, Congressman Steve Israel and Congresswoman Grace Meng today called on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to install additional airplane noise monitors in Queens and Nassau County communities, in the wake of new flight patterns into and out of LaGuardia and JFK airports. The federal representatives are asking for these monitors to be placed in coordination with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and the local communities. Currently, LaGuardia Airport has only four noise monitors and John F. Kennedy International Airport has only ten. The Port Authority recently announced a new data sharing technology that would provide information obtained from airplane noise monitors to the public in real-time. Schumer, Gillibrand, McCarthy, Israel and Meng today called on the Port Authority to install additional airplane noise monitors in targeted locations around the New York tri-state area and also urged the FAA to include data from airplane noise monitors in their evaluations of on noise levels.

"Noise monitors are so under-utilized in the New York tri-state area, which is home to three of the nation's busiest airports. Other major airports in the country, like Boston and Los Angeles, use upwards of 30 each, and we only have 14 between our two largest airports. The bottom line is that we need more monitors so we can collect the best data and assess impacts and make decisions based on the best information," Schumer said. "The Port Authority's new transparent website is a step in the direction but additional noise monitors should be installed so that local residents can get an accurate read of noise levels. It is critical that the Port Authority work together with the FAA to listen to residents, and ultimately get more noise monitors on the ground where we need them the most."

"Without adequate noise monitoring and data collection it is impossible for the Port Authority and FAA to begin to address community concerns," said Senator Gillibrand. "With these additional monitors the FAA will have another way of tracking and mitigating noise, which should provide some relief to Queens and Nassau County residents."

"Groups like the Town-Village Aircraft Safety & Noise Abatement Committee in Nassau County and residents across Long Island and Queens have been fighting airplane noise with us for a very long time and tools like these monitors will only help in our efforts. The Port Authority and FAA have given an open ear to our concerns in the past and I hope they act upon this call without delay," said McCarthy.

Rep. Israel said, "We know that airplane noise is impacting local communities. But I want critical technologies like more noise monitors in place to track it. With that detailed information and by making it public, the Port Authority and FAA can work with the community to reach a resolution to this quality of life issue for my constituents."

"The residents of Queens continue to suffer from the constant barrage of increased airplane noise over their neighborhoods," said Meng. "It's outrageous that New York's airports are not equipped with the same number of monitors that are being used by other airports around the country. It is critical to obtain the most accurate and reliable information on noise levels in order for officials to come-up with a plan to alleviate it. I urge the Port Authority to act at once so that our constituents can finally have their quality of life restored."

The Port Authority is in the process of upgrading the Airport Noise and Operations Monitoring System with the latest technology and creating a public website that will make data accessible within 24 hours. This will provide greater transparency on where the noise problems are most seriously arising. Still, these updates rely on the airplane noise monitors and thus, Schumer, Gillibrand, McCarthy, Israel and Meng explained that the Port Authority could go even further by installing additional noise monitors in the residential communities surrounding LaGuardia and JFK airports. This would help the FAA and the residents of Queens in getting an accurate read of airplane noise.

Local organizations and residents in Queens and Nassau County have expressed frustration over elevated noise levels in and around LaGuardia and JFK Airport. Noise monitors are placed and maintained by the Port Authority. The FAA does not use data from these noise monitors when compiling noise reports. Instead, the FAA's reports are completed using computer modeling that doesn't take any on the ground noise monitoring data into account

There are currently ten airplane noise monitors for JFK Airport and four airplane noise monitors for LaGuardia Airport. Comparatively, Boston has thirty airplane noise monitors, San Diego has twenty four airplane noise monitors and Los Angeles has thirty airplane noise monitors.

Schumer, Gillibrand, McCarthy, Israel and Meng today called for a two-fold plan involving airplane noise monitors. First, the federal representatives called on the Port Authority to install additional noise monitors because New York City should have as many airplane noise monitors as other large cities. They also asked the Port Authority to coordinate the location of these monitors with FAA officials. Schumer, Gillibrand, McCarthy, Israel and Meng explained that the airplane noise monitors should be installed in specific locations in order to get an accurate read of airplane noise in certain areas nearby LaGuardia and JFK airport. Second, Schumer, Gillibrand, McCarthy, Israel and Meng today called on the FAA to use data from the airplane noise monitors when evaluating noise levels. The federal representatives noted that the FAA does not currently use data from the airplane noise monitors and it should be taken into consideration in the future.

A copy of their letter can be found below:

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

225 Park Avenue South,

New York, NY 10003

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration

800 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20591

Dear Executive Director Patrick Foye and Administrator Huerta,

We write to urge the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to work together in implementing additional airplane noise monitors in the communities around the LaGuardia Airport and JFK Airport. Additionally, we are asking the FAA to share data from the airport noise monitors with the public more readily and regularly, and to use this data when evaluating noise levels in the community.

Residents living near airports in New York and New Jersey must endure high noise levels from aircraft take offs and landings. It is our understanding that the Port Authority has the power to institute noise monitors to assess impacts and to use this data to address the noise levels. We understand that the Port Authority is in the process of upgrading the Airport Noise and Operations Monitoring System with the latest technology and creating a public website that will make data accessible within 24 hours. We applaud the Port Authority for this effort. We believe that the next step should be adding additional noise monitors so that the affect of airplane noise can be understood in all communities. Currently, there are only ten noise monitors nearby JFK Airport and only four noise monitors nearby LaGuardia Airport. Similar airports in Boston and Los Angeles are home to thirty airplane noise monitors. To rectify this, we urge the Port Authority to work in coordination with the FAA to place additional airplane noise monitors in local communities. New York City's airports should have just as many monitors as other large cities.

Additionally, it is our understanding that the FAA does not utilize the data from the Port Authority's airplane noise monitors. It is our understanding that FAA studies and reports are completed using computer modeling that doesn't take any on the ground noise monitoring data into account. We urge the FAA to work with the Port Authority in the placement of new noise monitors so they can include this data in their reports and studies. The Port Authority is in the process of upgrading the technology on existing noise monitors and the FAA needs to utilize this data. We hope that with collection of more precise and thorough data the relevant agencies can address, and hopefully, alleviate the on-going complaints by residents living near the New York airports.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Washington, D.C. offices.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy

Rep. Steve Israel

Rep. Grace Meng


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