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Residents Claim LaGuardia Airplane Noise Is Driving People Out Of Queens Neighborhood

From CBS New York:

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Residents of northeast Queens claim airplane noise from LaGuardia Airport has increased over their heads.

Brian Will, of the group Queens Quiet Skies, said people have been moving out of his Flushing neighborhood because the airplane noise has become unbearable.

“There are some folks who say, ‘Well, you live by the airport, you knew that there were two airports in Queens, why’d you move to Queens?’ And the answer is because it was livable just 10 years ago. The operations have changed,” Will said. “It’s brutal, the whole neighborhood is up for sale.”

“Always have planes flying above our heads, they didn’t bother anybody. Four years ago, about 6 o’clock in the morning, we were literally blasted out of bed,” Flushing resident Maria Becci said.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, the group, along with state Sen. Tony Avella, found that capacity at the airport hasn’t increased, but one flight pattern is being used more than others.

Avella said since 2002, there’s been a 47 percent increase in airplanes over northeast Queens, and he wants to prevent the same thing from happening to other neighborhoods.

“What they’re trying to do is see if they can increase capacity over one neighborhood rather than spread it out and then they can increase capacity over every neighborhood,” Avella said.

Queens Quiet Skies and Avella are hoping to start a working group with the Port Authority and FAA to address the problem.

In a statement released late Tuesday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the total number of flights from LaGuardia has remained flat over the last decade, and air traffic patterns are controlled by factors such as wind, weather, and mandated runway maintenance and safety.

But the Port Authority did say in 2012, the FAA increased the use of certain routes for takeoff that has shifted runway patterns to certain northern Queens neighborhoods.

The Port Authority said it is taking steps to work with neighborhoods on addressing airport noise.

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