Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-Mineola, sent a letter Thursday to top officials at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) relating the concerns of some of her constituents about increasing airplane noise over their homes and the need for the agencies to work together on solutions.
“As a resident of Mineola, I, myself, can attest that the piercing blare of jet engines of commercial airlines is oppressive,” Rep. McCarthy wrote. “I am determined to seek a solution on behalf of my constituency and I remain committed to attaining the cooperation of both the FAA and the PANYNJ in order to ensure that noise abatement is being given the attention it demands.”
Rep. McCarthy noted the grassroots work of local officials and residents in her letter as well:
“The Town-Village-Aircraft-Safety and Noise Abatement Committee (TVASNAC), a committee that I applaud for engaging in grass-roots tactics in order to restore peace and quiet to localities on Long Island, has been working tirelessly at meetings with local leaders to determine the best course of action to help solve the issue of aircraft noise over Nassau County. Topics discussed at these meetings have ranged from runway distribution to potential 'Part 150' studies. The attendees are knowledgeable on the issues and steadfast in their pursuit of livable conditions in their communities.”
Rep. McCarthy focused her request in the letter on the need – as also called for by TVASNAC Chair Kendall Lampkin and his fellow board members – for a “memorandum of understanding” between the FAA and the PA so that each agency’s respective roles and responsibilities in noise management and mitigation are made more clear and accountable.”
“It is my understanding that at one TVASNAC meeting representatives from each the FAA and PANYNJ agreed to make public their respective responsibilities in mitigating aircraft noise. In order to address the confusion as to each entity’s jurisdiction with respect to reducing aircraft noise, I am asking that each agency commit to a memorandum of understanding on the issue. Such a memorandum will serve as a bilateral agreement between the FAA and PANYNJ and represent a formal starting point for residents and local elected officials alike to work with both entities in a manner that reduces noise pollution over the skies of Nassau County.”
Rep. McCarthy has been fighting through legislative channels to try to bring noise relief to the residents of Nassau County near JFK and LaGuardia airports. She voted against the departure flight path redesign that is making westbound flights take off over Nassau County before turning back towards their destinations. She successfully sponsored an amendment to last year’s FAA Reauthorization Act that encouraged the Port Authority to conduct a noise study focusing on the areas surrounding JFK and LaGuardia Airports and she voted against this year’s FAA Reauthorization Act due to its lack of an “environmental impact study” to assess the problem of noise levels in communities near local airports.
Rep. McCarthy has also joined TVASNAC members in a call for a joint telephone hotline and database for both the FAA and Port Authority to share information from local residents about airplane noise in their communities.