A new multimillion-dollar federal grant to study reduction of airplane noise around Kennedy Airport also should speed the project, lawmakers said Wednesday.
Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, who both helped secure the funding, said in a joint statement that the federal Department of Transportation will contribute $3.1 million to the analysis, known as a Part 150 study. A similar grant for LaGuardia Airport is expected to be announced soon, officials said.
"The Part 150 study will finally evaluate the best ways to address noise impacts in communities surrounding JFK airport in both Queens and Nassau," Schumer said. Specifically, the study will identify current noise levels, and estimate how they might develop over the next several years, from 2016 to 2021.
Schumer and Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) urged the Port Authority, which owns and runs the area's major airports, to accelerate work on the study. A Schumer spokesman was not immediately available to comment on how much of the study's cost the grant would fund.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo instructed the Port Authority last year to conduct noise studies for both airports, which typically take at least three years and cost about $4 million to $6 million.
In a statement, the bi-state agency noted the new grant "will help offset the costs of the agency's ongoing Kennedy Airport noise study initiated at the direction of Gov. Andrew Cuomo."
A Port Authority spokesman did not comment on whether Kennedy's Part 150 study now might be finished sooner.
In October, the Port Authority hired a California-based environmental consulting firm to identify which neighborhoods around the two airports endure excessive jet noise, and devise ways of assisting residents. And in June, groups advising the Port Authority on noise abatement at Kennedy and LaGuardia met for the first time.
Methods that might be recommended for reducing noise include modifying takeoffs and landings or routing flight paths over less-sensitive areas, and providing sound insulation for homes, schools and other buildings near the airports.