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Officials: Working on jet noise near JFK

A plane flies over a Stewart Manor home.

A plane flies over a Stewart Manor home. (July 14, 2011) Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Federal and airport officials assured residents living near Kennedy Airport that they are working toward controlling jet noise in the their communities.

"We are talking to our controllers and we are taking action," Jim Hayden, air traffic manager for New York Terminal Radar Approach Control, which oversees air traffic control in the area, said at a meeting with residents of more than a dozen Nassau County communities Monday night.

Municipal officials and residents of communities under JFK flight paths have complained that noise caused by air traffic has increased in the past several months and interrupted their lives, especially at night. They packed a conference room in Lawrence Village Hall for the Town-Village Aircraft Safety Noise Abatement Committee meeting.

"It's not just noise that's the issue, it's safety," said Ray Gaudio, who represents East Williston on the 40-year-old coalition. "We need relief."

Federal Aviation Administration and Port Authority officials listened to demands from residents for equitable distribution of flights onto the airport's eight runway approaches, a ban on low-flying planes and a reduction of late-night flights.

Some committee members recently voiced frustration about increased use of Runway 22L, but residents at the meeting said the problem goes beyond one runway approach.

Nancy Manara, a 45-year resident of Inwood, said the noise from the planes has become unbearable. Manara teared up as she complained about flights over her home, saying "takeoffs are the worst."

FAA officials said runway usage is determined by many factors, including wind direction, weather conditions, construction projects, and noise abatement procedures.

David Siewert, air traffic manager at the JFK control tower, said the FAA will make sure controllers follow runway selection policies, altitude guidelines and noise abatement procedures.

Siewert said that in the mornings, "we are going to do a survey of what happened the night before . . . to make sure that the midnight personnel is doing what it is supposed to do," Siewert said.

The Port Authority's automated noise complaint hotline can be reached by calling 516-747-1417. Low-flying aircraft can be reported to the FAA by emailing

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