Friday, 22 July 2011 00:00
I am a member of the East Williston Aircraft Safety and Noise Abatement Committee as well as being an attendee of the meetings of the Town Village Aircraft Safety & Noise Abatement Committee (TVASNAC), a pubic advocacy group.
We are gravely concerned about the increased number of low-flying planes over Garden City, East Williston, Stewart Manor, Mineola, New Hyde Park and Williston Park, that are being continuously directed every three to five minutes by the FAA, to fly to a particular arrival runway at JFK (22L). The FAA mandates that planes over our communities fly at a minimum of 2,500 feet yet FAA figures show that planes fly between 1319 and 1985 feet in violation of their own laws. Garden City has been hit extremely hard according to the complaints of an extraordinarily large percentage of Garden City attendees at the last TVASNAC meeting on June 27.
Some facts of interest: In June, runway 22L got 7,382 of 18,558 total arrivals into JFK, an amazing 39.77 percent. Garden City, East Williston, Williston Park and Stewart Manor got almost 40 percent of all arrivals into JFK, yet the FAA has seven other possible runways to handle arrivals. We remember that in 2004, 22L was being utilized for 14 percent of all arrivals. Overnight in June, 22L got about 35 percent of all overnight arrivals into JFK. While we are waiting July figures, we are told that they are going to be much worse.
Our figures are accurate and come directly from the Port Authority and FAA. Should you need additional information we shall become than happy to discuss this matter further with you.
Residents of Garden City, East Williston and other involved communities are suffering extreme hardships because of this continuing abuse by the FAA. Our quality of life has eroded. In Garden City alone, autistic children have gotten worse because of the low-flying noise. One resident was awakened at 4:30 a.m. by rattling of his windows. Cable TV has been disturbed. Even in East Williston, sitting outside at any time of the day is next to impossible. Impact on the environment cannot be measured because the FAA has not made the mandatory environmental studies deemed necessary before any changes were made in plane operations.
We are taking action but we need your help. Every month, TVASNAC holds a meeting in Lawrence. At that time, these important issues are discussed with the Port Authority and the FAA. We must advise people affected by this issue to know about these meetings so that they may attend and voice their concerns.
Francene Pollock Gould