Airplanes at JFK Airport. (July 14, 2011)

Airplanes at JFK Airport. (July 14, 2011) Credit: Jim Staubitser

More jets will be flying over Nassau County beginning Thursday as flight paths out of Kennedy Airport change due to the Federal Aviation Administration's most extensive reshaping of mid-Atlantic region flight patterns in decades.

Due to the new flight patterns, more commercial aircraft will be visible along the North Shore, officials say, and in some areas, slightly more noise will go with them.

FAA officials have said that noise increases on Long Island will be slight because the jets' altitude will be between 5,000 and 10,000 feet over that part of the county.

"There's no question that somebody's going to get belted," said Leonard Schaier, of Port Washington, who has been a critic of aircraft noise over the North Shore. "How it will affect us in Nassau County, I don't know."

In April, the FAA estimated the new departure routes out of Kennedy would send as many as 200 planes a day over the North Shore. Under the new routes, planes departing Kennedy Airport in Queens will fly east before turning north and crossing the Nassau County towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead.

Then the aircraft will begin turning west, across Long Island Sound and into Westchester County, before passing over the Hudson River and entering north New Jersey. Traffic bound for the western part of the United States will head for a new west gate in North Jersey at an altitude of about 20,000 feet, FAA officials said.

Previously, planes leaving Kennedy bound for western destinations turned south over water and crossed central New Jersey.

Also beginning Thursday, a new fifth departure route will be available to pilots flying from Kennedy to the western part of the United States. In earlier versions of the FAA's redesign plan, there were only four gates over north western New Jersey.

Another change the FAA will introduce Thursday is a dedicated heading for Dulles Airport near Washington, D.C., for planes taking off from New York airports, traveling from New England and international flights crossing New York's air space.

Robert Belzer is president of the New Jersey Coalition Against Aircraft Noise and a critic of the FAA's airspace redesign plans. After reviewing proposed routes released by the FAA, Belzer said it's hard to imagine residents on Long Island not noticing an increase in air traffic overhead.

"It takes air traffic and puts them east and north, going straight through Nassau," Belzer said.

The FAA has said the air route changes -- the most extensive since the 1960s -- will affect air traffic from Philadelphia to Hartford and will cause only minimal increases in aircraft noise over Long Island communities.

Noise is measured by a score called Day Night Average Noise Level. Sixty-five is considered too high for residential areas and any score over 45 is considered a slight-to-moderate noise impact.

Most Long Island communities will have DNL levels below 45, according to the FAA.

"The routing from New York to New Jersey will not create any new significant noise impacts, including the route over Nassau County," said Jim Peters, FAA spokesman in New York.

The air space redesign is supposed to allow for more efficient use of the airspace and to cut flight delays, which plague the New York airspace.

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