Sept. 29, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
The Port Authority is holding a workshop Thursday night to allow the public to ask questions and raise concerns over airplane noise over northern Queens.
The workshop will showcase the results of an ongoing Part 150 study, which examines noise levels over residential areas in an open house-style format at the LaGuardia Airport Marriott at 102-05 Ditmars Blvd. It will run from 6 to 9 p.m., and members of the public can drop in at any time.
The workshop will present current studies of noise over Queens, as well as future projections for the year 2021, and will allow attendees to ask questions and give comments to Port Authority representatives.
The open house comes on the heels of a report from Queens Quiet Skies, an activist group advocating for less plane noise, which showed that plane traffic over Queens has risen almost 80 percent since 2008. However Queens Quiet Skies founder Janet McEneaney believes that the studies and solutions presented at the workshop will not adequately address the issue of airplane noise.
“From what I have seen of the studies, which is limited, it’s not coming out any different than we expected because what you put in is what you get out,” McEneaney said. “We had asked to have a lot of data put in, and a lot of community input as to how the study would be set up, and that was denied by the Port Authority.”
Congressman Joe Crowley agreed with McEneaney’s sentiment in a statement today, saying that he was pleased that the Port Authority was conducting the study, but it still has a long way to go.
“As the Noise Exposure Maps reveal, many homes remain outside of the noise contours deemed incompatible with aircraft noise by the FAA. This means that while I’m encouraged this study could lead to desperately needed mitigation measures for some in the airport’s surrounding communities, more needs to be done to protect the health and quality of life of the remaining residents, who for too long have been burdened by aircraft noise,” Crowley said.
He added, “As the Port Authority prepares for the next phase in this study, and evaluates noise abatement and mitigation options, I urge it to continue involving the members of our community and ensure their concerns and ideas are given due consideration as we work toward providing the relief they deserve.”
McEneaney explained that the Part 150 study measures plane noise based on a day-night level (DNL) criterion, which averages noise levels over 365 days. The Federal Aviation Administration defines “significant noise” as 65 decibels, which McEneaney believes is too high.
She added that other countries cap the DNL at 55 decibels, and that on the map of noise levels there are many areas in Northern Queens that are at 55 DNL, but do not reach 65 DNL, and therefore will probably not be helped by any remedial solutions put forward by the Port Authority.
The Port Authority is accepting comments on its draft noise study at the workshop tonight, via mail, and via email at [email protected]. The deadline for comments is October 24.
For more information on the meeting and the study visit http://panynjpart150.com/LGA_homepage.asp.