Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 31 July 2014 00:00
New Hyde Park Village trustee Donald Barbieri contends helicopters are still flying right over New Hyde Park and other residential parts of the north shore, harming citizens and the town with excessive and unlawful aircraft noise. In spite of what federal law says and in spite of what a federal court says, the noise levels are still an issue.
Barbieri drafted a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration, apprising the entity of New Hyde Park’s situation. The FAA did not return calls for comment.
“I attended a recent Town Village Aircraft Noise Abatement Committee meeting in Hempstead to talk about helicopter traffic noise,” he said. “We drafted a letter that was sent on to the regional director of the FAA. Still waiting for his response.”
Barbieri said the letter “highlighted that the interim landing system directs most of the airplane traffic over our area on the way down to JFK [Airport]. It spoke about that when there’s a southwesterly wind, it causes the aircrafts that land on runways [22 left and 22 right] to go over New Hyde Park.”
According to a federal court ruling in July 2013, prior to 2008, helicopter pilots flying between New York City and eastern Long Island chose between three routes: the northern coast, the Long Island
Expressway through the middle, or the southern coast. The FAA said in the decision that “residents along the north shore of Long Island emphatically agreed that helicopter overflights during the summer months are unbearable and negatively impact their quality of life.”
Many pilots preferred to travel the north shore route, even when traveling to south shore destinations like the Hamptons, because it was faster and less likely to encounter weather delays common along the south shore, the ruling said.
“Any helicopter traffic that flies that low, it’s really a violation of the quality of life for the residents,” said Barbieri. “We ask the FAA to ask pilots to consider utilizing a different route when [southwesterly] winds blow this way so we don’t have planes or helicopters flying so low.”
Kurt Lanjghar, the TVASNAC New Hyde Park community liaison, an appointed position he has held since 1993, feels the main concern is transparency.
“The helicopter reps stood us up at the last [TVASNAC] meeting so hopefully they’ll be at the next one,” he said. “For helicopters, they’re saving money by going over a direct route over the railroad tracks. I suggested that to them, in all fairness, if they can’t fly over the ocean, they should take different routes, like the Northern State Parkway or the Long Island Expressway.”