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Meng to FAA: Explain TNNIS noise at night

From Queens Chronicle:

When planes flying the vexatious and narrow TNNIS flight path from LaGuardia Airport roar over Flushing and Bayside, they’re hard to ignore.


Rep. Grace Meng has asked the Federal Aviation Administration a few pointed questions about flights from LaGuardia Airport using the TNNIS route at night after constituents expressed concern about it.


The supposedly daytime route’s acute noise has been a major nuisance to quiet skies advocates ever since the Federal Aviation Administration made it permanent in 2012 to make room for flights from JFK Airport.

According to a New York Air Terminal Approach Radar Control review from 2012, TNNIS flights between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. are not planned unless required by weather. The report says that, given that LaGuardia departures usually end at 10 p.m. and don’t resume until 6:30 a.m., the flight path’s usage at night was estimated to be miniscule.

But that might not be the case.

“Increasingly, however, my constituents have voiced concerns about flights during these hours,” Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) wrote in a a letter to FAA Regional Administrator Carmine Gallo on Dec. 21. The congresswoman requested the number of TNNIS flights between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. between 2012 and 2016, the number of flights estimated by New York TRACON to take place during the time frame, and the number of flights in it that did not happen because of safety.

The FAA did not immediately return a request for comment.

“It is critical that the FAA adhere to its original plan of not using the TNNIS procedure from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m,” the congresswoman said in a prepared statement. “The concerns expressed about flights during these hours must be addressed by the FAA, and I eagerly await their answers to my questions.”

Flushing resident Susan Carroll, who represents Borough President Melinda Katz on the New York Community Aviation Roundtable, was pleased with Meng’s letter.

“I thank Rep. Meng for asking these very important and pointed questions, which I have been asking for years,” Carroll said in an emailed statement to the Chronicle. “The FAA evaded further environmental review of TNNIS by agreeing to use it only in certain conditions. They have continually violated that agreement and it is about time they are held accountable for it.”

Although state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has not heard any complaints from his constituents about TNNIS being used at night, he supports Meng’s letter.

“It’s such an obnoxious, low climb,” he said.

The state senator, who is a longshot candidate in the nascent Democratic primary race for mayor, hopes that the acrimonious airport roundtable and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Part 150 noise studies will result in the borough’s quiet skies advocates being able to show the FAA the magnitude of the burden residents face.

“Once these studies are done, it’s gonna show a huge impact on the residential neighborhoods around the airports and beyond,” he said. “Hopefully, the end game is to reduce the impact that the TNNIS climb and the other routes that LaGuardia and JFK are using.”

“We get general airplane noise complaints pretty much consistently,” Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside), a member of the airport roundtable, said. “We’ve been asking them to roll back the TNNIS climb since 2012.”

The office of state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) sometimes hears from Queens activists that the TNNIS route is used too much, according to a spokesperson.

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