The April 23 TVASNAC (Town-Village Aircraft Safety & Noise Abatement Committee) meeting at Floral Park Village Hall has been postponed because the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is holding a public meeting that same evening on noise mitigation regarding the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Metropolitan Area Airspace Redesign Project.
The preferred Integrated Airspace Alternative's major departure flows.
FAA officials plan on discussing the preferred Integrated Airspace Alternative. This alternative, among the four that had been studied for the last nine years, officials said "best meets the purpose and need of the project," which is to improve efficiency and reliability of the airspace structure and air traffic control system from southern Connecticut to eastern Delaware. The FAA made its decision after completing its review of all comments received on the project.
FAA officials believe a new way of handling air traffic in and around New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia will help "reduce delays and will make air travel more reliable." The preferred plan would combine high-altitude and low-altitude airspace to create more efficient arrival and departure routes.
"This new concept in airspace design will help us handle the rapidly growing number of flights in the Northeast in a much more efficient way," FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey stated in an FAA release. "This airspace has been unchanged since the 1960s, and we need to look at creative new ways to avoid delays."
Specifically, the chosen plan would reduce the complexity of the current air traffic system operation in the New York area and Philadelphia by more efficiently directing aircraft to and from major airports in the two metropolitan areas. Officials believe the preferred alternative would save an estimated 12 million minutes of delay annually for the four major metropolitan airports - Kennedy, LaGuardia, Newark and Philadelphia.
The FAA is hosting one meeting in each state affected by the Airspace Redesign Project. All meetings take place between 6-10 p.m. On Monday, April 23, a meeting will take place at New York LaGuardia Airport Marriott Hotel, 102-05 Ditmars Blvd., East Elmhurst. Other meetings will follow Tuesday, April 24, Holiday Inn Select, 700 Main Street, Stamford, CT; Wednesday, April 25, Sheraton Newark Airport Hotel, 128 Frontage Road, Newark, NJ; Monday, April 30, Concord High School, 2501 Elbright Road, Wilmington, DE; and Tuesday, May 1, Holiday Inn, Philadelphia International Airport, 45 Industrial Highway, Essington.
Floral Park Mayor Phil Guarnieri believes holding one meeting per state is unacceptable. "To begin with, the Airspace Redesign Plan has nothing to do with noise mitigation and the impacts it would have on the quality of life on nearby residential neighborhoods. The plan was almost wholly concerned with making arrival and departure flights more efficient and this last minute noise mitigation hearing announced only March 23 appears to be more about window dressing than addressing real relief from aircraft noise," he said in a recent mayor's column.
He called upon Senators Clinton and Schumer, as well as Congresswoman McCarthy, to come to Floral Park's aid with all dispatch and follow the example of Senator Lautenberg of New Jersey in calling for more than one public hearing in each of the five affected states.
The mayor sent a letter to each of Floral Park's federal representatives requesting a meeting to discuss (1) the soon to be finalized Northeast Airspace Redesign; (2) funding for noise mitigation within our region; and (3) specific aircraft traffic concerns of the residents of Floral Park.
"Although the FAA says it is working on a variety of plans to ease noise, such as routing planes over less densely populated areas, having jets fly higher as well as descending in a way that uses less engine power, it also has the potential of bringing more noisy jets along the Northeast corridor - and that means us," Mayor Guarnieri continued, adding that he once again called upon the Port Authority to install noise monitors to measure the current volume, which he believes exceeds the allowable noise threshold. "Aircraft safety and efficiency are important concerns; so is the quality of life of residents who live under flight paths," he added.
Newly elected Trustee Mary-Grace Tomecki, Floral Park's Aircraft Traffic and Noise Abatement Officer, said she plans on attending the April 23 meeting in East Elmhurst, along with fellow board members, and encourages all fellow residents of Floral Park to attend as well to "weigh in" on the Airspace Redesign Plan. Further, in similar news, Tomecki is also studying the possibility of having noise monitors placed in the village to secure data to help support the village's efforts to obtain a more equitable distribution of air traffic over area communities.
The FAA expects to publish the final Environmental Impact Statement sometime this summer. The agency expects to issue a Record of Decision - the agency's decision on how to proceed with the airspace redesign project - in late summer 2007. Additional project information is available at www.faa.gov/nynjphl_airspace_redesign.