Oct. 20, 2015 By Michael Florio
The airplane noise that constantly wakes up many Jackson Heights residents on weekends is soon coming to an end.
The noise, which has stemmed from airplanes changing their flight paths while a runway has been out of service on weekends, is expected to cease by the end of the year. The unused LaGuardia runway has been undergoing construction and repairs, which are expected to be completed in November.
The construction has led to airplanes being diverted over the neighborhood as early as 5 am on weekends. The work began earlier in the year.
Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey confirmed the November completion date at a town hall meeting at P.S. 69 this weekend, according to State Senator Jose Peralta.
“They [the agencies] claim that most of the construction will be complete by the end of November and they won’t have to reconstruct anything for 10 years,” Peralta said.
The 400 residents that packed P.S. 69’s auditorium on Sunday for the town hall meeting were happy to hear that news, Peralta said.
“It was music to everyone’s ears,” he said.
The agencies said once the work is completed there will be a significant drop in airplane noise in Jackson Heights, especially on weekends, due to the flight paths no longer being forced to go over the neighborhood, according to Peralta.
Peralta said he will hold the agencies to their word, but will continue to monitor the situation throughout November. He is hopeful that the flight paths will no longer continue going over the neighborhood once the construction is completed.
If not, Peralta said he would reach out to the Governor. However, he said he hopes it does not come to that.
Peralta, who co-hosted Sunday’s town hall with several other elected officials, said it was good for representatives of the two agencies to see and hear residents, not just hear the complaints from politicians.
“They [constituents] showed their passion and their frustration,” Peralta said. “The FAA and Port Authority now know they have to do something about it.”