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LaGuardia, Kennedy aircraft noise study goes forward

A plane takes off at Kennedy Airport in

A plane takes off at Kennedy Airport in New York. (Feb. 28, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

The Port Authority is working on developing a plan to implement Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's directive to study aircraft noise in communities near Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, officials said.

Noise-reduction advocates have been seeking answers on how the Port Authority -- the manager of the two airports -- will deal with Cuomo's order to conduct the airplane noise study and establish a community roundtable in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration and other stakeholders. Cuomo's mandate came earlier this month after he vetoed a bill that called for the study, but needed approval from New Jersey lawmakers.

"We are in the process of developing a plan and time frame for implementation of the study, which will be paid for by the agency," Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico said in an email. He added most of the expenses for the study -- to be done by an independent contractor -- would be eligible for federal reimbursement.

Representatives from the Town-Village Aircraft Safety Noise Abatement Committee, the FAA and the Aviation Development Council discussed the study's requirements and its potential impact on controlling jet noise over the Long Island area at a meeting Monday night at the Village of Lawrence Yacht and Country Club.

"They may have underestimated the real strength of this argument," the committee's executive director, Kendall Lampkin, said of the Port Authority. His group has called for the agency to conduct a Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study for 11 years, he said. "It cuts across social economic lines, it cuts across urban and suburban lines, and it certainly cuts across all party lines."

The study provides for noise-exposure maps to be created using the FAA's computer modeling software. The software creates diagrams depicting the airport's layout, operation and aircraft-related noise exposure. It forecasts aircraft noise anticipated in the future within the airport's noise impact area.

"I can't even fathom how many more planes are going over my house than there were back 20 years ago," Sharona Weinberg, of Woodmere, said at the meeting.

"The one key thing for us is that if we are going to do airspace changes or procedural changes, it can't impact the efficiency of the National Airspace System and it can't impact safety," said Steve Urlass, manager of the FAA's New York Airports District Office, adding a Part 150 study could take up to five years.

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