Crowley, Vacca hold Town hall to address air traffic concerns

Country Club’s concerns about noise from neighboring airports prompted a town hall meeting with Congressman Joe Crowley and Councilman Jimmy Vacca.

The meeting, held on Wednesday, February 22, invited the community to listen to presentations by the Federal Aviation Administration as well as Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on flight traffic, and noise issues. A question period was also conducted.

Country Club Civic Association president, Marcia Pavlica, said the meeting was prompted by an association member.

“What pleased me the most was that there were a good number of people from different groups who came,” Pavlica said. “I really feel confident. There was a good spectrum of speakers there who could cover a good amount of information and answer people’s questions.”

Pavlica said according to the presentation given by the FAA, there are about 1200 operations that go on daily at Laguardia Airport, which equated to about 70 operations an hour.

“We hear, in the area of Community Board 10, about 10 take offs and 10 landings each hour out of those 70, that pass over our community,” Pavlica said the FAA explained. “They are not building new runways, there are still just two in operation. They also told us the flight configurations haven’t changed in 25 years, but that we are probably more aware of the noise because of air turbulence and the types of planes that are used.”

Anita Valenti, a resident of Pelham Bay, said she, as well as a lot of other residents, had concerns about the noise. “I was told my house is in line with the flight pattern,” Valenti said. “I am very aware of it during the warm weather, I think all of the people in Country Club are. My question - why aren’t we investing more money in a high speed railroad? Trains that can do 200 miles per hour could get people to where they want to go in the same amount of time as a plane, and that would eliminate some of the air traffic.”

“Living near two of the nation’s busiest airports can have its advantages, but excessive noise isn’t one of them,” Congressman Crowley said. “And while JFK and Laguardia will never be perfect neighbors, we can try to make them better neighbors.”

“My constituents and I both understand how close two of New York’s largest airports are to our surrounding communities. But if there is a way that we can limit the amount of noise the planes make, it will make a tremendous difference,” Vacca said.

John Provetto, community resident, said he thought the meeting was informative, but did not produce any solutions for the near future.

“The bottom line is the noise is not going to stop,” said Provetto. “We are in the air path and there really isn’t anything we can do about it. As far as mitigations go, there is nothing in the near future.”


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