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Nassau gets 5 new monitors to track aircraft noise

The top of the new noise monitor which

The top of the new noise monitor which is right inside the gate of The Park at East Hills. Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

The Port Authority has installed five aircraft noise monitors throughout Nassau in response to residents' ongoing complaints about the roar jet engines make when they fly over homes on their way to Kennedy Airport.

The five communities under Kennedy's flight paths that have asked for and received portable noise monitors are the Village of East Hills, Franklin Square, the Village of Malverne, the Village of Old Brookville and Roslyn Heights, according to a spokeswoman for the authority, which manages the airport.

The noise monitors, costing $29,000 each, were installed between October and April.

"I am hoping the noise monitors demonstrate that the decibel [level] is above what is humanly possible to endure, and force them to change the routes to go over water instead of homes," said East Hills Mayor Michael Koblenz.

Residents of that North Shore village, about 12 miles from Kennedy, are not only complaining about the frequency of commercial airplanes flying above their homes, but also how low they fly.

"I wear glasses, and I can read every plane's tail number," Koblenz said Wednesday. "If I can read it, clearly they're flying too low."

These five communities join the Village of Floral Park, which, until recently, was the only one on Long Island with a portable noise monitor.

Noise from airplanes and airport operations has created a problem for hundreds of thousands of people living near airports and under flight paths in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and elsewhere.

It has become a political issue on Long Island and elsewhere. Politicians -- from village mayors to state lawmakers to congressional members -- have all weighed in.

Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) said he is glad to see the Port Authority finally put noise monitors in Nassau, even though they come nearly two years after he requested them.

Noise pollution from aircraft is destroying the quality of life for his constituents, including those living in East Hills and Roslyn Heights, he said, but FAA officials have refused to acknowledge it's a problem.

"Now we have technology that can tell us what the decibel levels are, and use that data to work with the FAA, the Port Authority, as well as local communities, in addressing it," Israel said Wednesday.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, in March 2014, directed the Port Authority to take steps to address complaints about aircraft noise.

One of the measures Cuomo ordered the authority, a bi-state agency whose members are appointed by the governors of New York and New Jersey, to do was to add 16 new portable noise monitors. So far, 13 noise monitors have been installed, including the five in Nassau. Seven of them were placed throughout Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

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