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JFK noise advisory panel meets for 1st time

Kendall Lampkin, a member of the JFK Technical

Kendall Lampkin, a member of the JFK Technical Advisory Committee representing the Town of Hempstead, discusses ways to evaluate existing noise levels, predict noise levels for the next five years, and recommend ways to reduce unwanted sound from JFK International Airport. Credit: Uli Seit

A group advising the Port Authority on its noise and land-use compatibility study met for the first time Wednesday at Kennedy Airport to lay out its objectives, including acting as liaison between the agency and communities.

The gathering of the 23-member JFK Technical Advisory Committee comes more than a year after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ordered the authority, a bi-state agency, to conduct the survey, commonly referred to as a Part 150 Study. The study is designed to identify existing noise levels and noise levels in the next five years, from 2016 to 2021, and recommend ways to reduce the impacts on residents.

Ed Knoesel, the authority's environmental services manager, said it's too early to say what residents could expect at the end of the three-year study. All possible ways to reduce aircraft noise will be considered, he said.

"That will be the outcome of the study," Knoesel said after the meeting. "People will know what measures can be done and what measures cannot be done."

Kendall Lampkin, a member of the advisory panel representing the Town of Hempstead, said he does not believe the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration have the money to pay for soundproofing private houses.

"The reason for that is the Port Authority [manages] five airports. What they do for one, they'd have to do for the other," said Lampkin, also executive director of the Town-Village Aircraft Safety & Noise Abatement Committee.

An identical committee for LaGuardia met Tuesday. Each advisory group plans to hold 18 meetings in coming years.

Since Cuomo directed the authority, which operates LaGuardia and Kennedy airports, to take comprehensive measures to address residents' concerns about airplane noise in March 2014, it has:

Created a new noise office and staffed it with six employees whose jobs are to deal with aircraft-related issues. It is headed by Knoesel.

Expanded its noise monitoring program by installing additional noise monitors. The authority has installed at least 13 out of 16 new portable noise monitors.

Introduced a new flight and noise monitoring Web portal, WebTrak, which allows residents to follow flight patterns over their communities. The aim is to make it easier for the public to track, identify and report specific flights when making a noise complaint.

Established an Airport Community Roundtable with two committees, one for LaGuardia and one for Kennedy.

Embarked on noise and land-use compatibility studies for LaGuardia and Kennedy airports.

The authority will hold two workshops next week to give the public information about the Part 150 Study, including the methods used to measure aircraft noise exposure.

The LaGuardia open house is next Wednesday, from 6 to 8 p.m. at New York LaGuardia Airport Marriott in East Elmhurst, Queens. The Kennedy open house is next Thursday, also from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Radisson Hotel JFK Airport in Jamaica, Queens.

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