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Lawmakers call for noise monitors at NYC airports

A jetliner lands on runway 22 as seen

A jetliner lands on runway 22 as seen in this aerial photo of New York City's LaGuardia Airport. (June 7, 2011) Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

Five federal lawmakers from New York are calling for more noise monitors near Kennedy and LaGuardia airports to help address community concerns in Queens and Nassau.

Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Reps. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola), Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and Grace Meng (D-Queens), sent a letter to FAA officials and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, urging expanded use of the devices.

"Residents living near airports in New York and New Jersey must endure high noise levels from aircraft takeoffs and landings," states the letter addressed to Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye and Michael Huerta, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. "It is our understanding that the Port Authority has the power to institute noise monitors to assess impacts and to use this data to address the noise levels."

The legislators lament that there are only 14 noise monitors near the two airports -- 10 serving Kennedy and four at LaGuardia -- while other large cities, such as Boston and Los Angeles, have as many as 30.

They said they were encouraged by new data-sharing technology that would provide information from airplane noise monitors to the public in real-time.

"Noise monitors are so underutilized in the New York tri-state area, which is home to three of the nation's busiest airports," said Schumer in a release. "The bottom line is that we need more monitors so we can collect the best data and assess impacts and make decisions based on the best information."

Gillibrand agreed. "With these additional monitors the FAA will have another way of tracking and mitigating noise, which should provide some relief to Queens and Nassau County residents," she said.

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