The Federal Aviation Administration implemented the second stage of its plan to redesign the airspace over New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia Thursday, increasing the amount of planes flying over Nassau County.
An additional fifth departure route for westbound flights leaving the New York metro area was added on Oct. 20 to augment four existing westbound departure routes.
"The new route will allow planes leaving all of the New York area airports to access westbound high altitude routes more quickly and will help relieve current traffic management restrictions that cause delays," according to a fact sheet posted on the FAA Web site.
On Thursday, the FAA also began using a new departure procedure at John F. Kennedy International Airport called the "JFK Wrap," which it says allows flights headed westbound from JFK to exit the New York area more efficiently and quickly.
"Before the new procedure was available, aircraft that filed flight plans for high altitude, westbound routes had to converge over a single point in Robbinsville, NJ, before they were fanned out on separate routes," creating a choke point that caused ground delays at New York area airports during peak traffic periods, the release stated.
Under the new “JFK Wrap” procedure, after taking off from the airport, westbound flights will first follow a path to the east and then will turn to the north and then to the west, across New Jersey. When they reach northwestern New Jersey, the flights will be directed to multiple points to access the National Airspace System’s high-altitude, westbound route structure, flying around 20,000 feet.
The FAA has been criticized by Nassau County residents, including members of the Inwood Civic Association, who said at their last meeting that although there's been less noise lately, it could still be unbearable.
“We’ve gotten less in recent times because they fanned out, but the take offs are still loud," Roy Meserole said.
Patricia McCarthy Candeletti, of Malverne, commented on Facebook, "Last night I would have thought a plane was landing in my bedroom!" She added, "At 11:30 last night I looked out my window and a flight attendant waved at me.......couldn't get any worse!"
The FAA says an environmental analysis it conducted showed that the routing changes from New York to New Jersey would not create any new significant noise impacts in the area, including the portion of the route that flies over Nassau County shortly after departure from JFK.
But we want to hear what local residents are actually experiencing. Have you noticed a change in the air traffic since the new flight plans and departure procedure was implemented Thursday? Has the noise increased, decreased or remained the same? Vote or comment below.
The next meeting of the Town-Village-Aircraft-Safety & Noise Abatement Committee (TVASNAC) will be held Oct. 24 in Lawrence.