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Letter to the Editor: JFK Flight Pattern a Problem

Craig Lombardo discusses the problems he has with JFK's plane routes.

The following is a letter to the editor from Rockville Centre resident Craig Lombardo:

Patch Community,

I write this "Letter to the Editor" to begin an organized public forum addressing the noise and air pollution over our homes in Rockville Centre and other neighboring towns. During certain times of the day/night, JFK airport has airplanes flying over our community, without exaggeration, every two minutes. Sometimes this continues for an hour or so. The noise is consistently loud and irritating.

To rebut some responses I'm expecting to hear such as, "You should have known what you were moving into," know that when my wife and I purchased our home, this wasn't an issue yet. Had we known this, we would have moved elsewhere. Therefore, JFK and the FAA moved into our backyard -- not the other way around.

After research through the Internet, I found this is a result of a recent flight path change in October 2011. Rather than the planes flying south, they now loop east, then north over Nassau County, then west over Westchester. See article by NBC: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Flight-Paths-New-JFK-Airport-Nassau-County-Plans-132230213.html.

I have written complaints beginning with our local RVC Mayor Murray to as high as President Obama. I have written to groups such as the FAA, Port Authority and the EPA. Sadly, but expected, ALL of my letters were unanswered except for Senator Skelos' office and County Executive Mangano. Their response was urging me to report this to the congressional representatives (already done, with no response).

The noise pollution is only one of the problems. I am also concerned about the air pollution we and our children may be suffering from. Not only air pollution, but lavatory waste. See 1010 WINS column: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/02/26/l-i-couple-wants-answers-after-lavatory-leak-from-overhead-plane/.

Through this column, I hope to collect ideas, share opinions, and offer any progress made toward a decent response from the FAA. In order to be heard, we need to collectively speak through a single voice.

Perhaps there already are public hearings? A lawsuit? An investigation? If anyone has information, please respond to this column.

Jason February 20, 2013 at 05:45 AM
My friend, there are many, *many* more pressing sources of air pollution, and pollution in general, on Long Island. Airplanes should be the least of your concern. As for lavatory waste, airplanes do not dump waste unless a mechanical fault is present. As for the noise, maybe move to Idaho?
Tony February 20, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Noise in RVC? Try moving to Lawrence or Inwood, then you'll hear what real airplane noise is like. Matter of fact, not only can you hear it but feel it and sometimes see it when your windows rattle so hard they crack. I had 2 antique stained glass windows crack from extremely low international take offs in the early 2000's, even had pictures of how low they were. The FAA couldn't have cared less, in fact they accused me of doctoring the photos! Good luck.
Craig Lombardo February 21, 2013 at 06:04 AM
Tony, I can only imagine... And from the sounds of it, RVC isn't far off anymore since the recent path changes. Our windows rattle as well. Its gotten worse. No surprise to hear that the FAA could care less. This is why people have to voice their opinions. Read the same article on the Rockville Centre Patch's page. I have information about a Noise Abatement Committee that has formed and is holding monthly meetings. There is progress. Join the fight.
Craig Lombardo February 21, 2013 at 06:14 AM
Jason, sorry that you feel there are worse issues than pollution our environment. I cant imagine what they would be. Unbelievable how residents are actually resistant to bettering or at least preserving our community. I don't care if its a mechanical failure or regular procedure...if this new flight path didn't exist over our communities, it wouldn't be a concern at all. Moving away from the issue doesn't fix it. Fight for yourself, and don't let FAA do as they please to your neighborhood. Be part of the solution, not the problem.
Tony February 21, 2013 at 02:33 PM
I don't worry about Noise Abatement anymore, I couldn't take the noise and tax increases and moved my family to near Tampa several years ago. After 45 years of ear splitting noise, finally it's so quiet I can hear birds in the trees, deer rustling and chomping on my garden and planes are rarely seen and almost never heard. The secret to dealing with the FAA is to have a vocal and participatory group. That's how the flight patterns got shifted your way to begin with. It will take years for any change to occur and only after constructive ideas will they begin to listen.
Jason February 21, 2013 at 03:16 PM
You really can't imagine sources of pollution worse than airplanes on Long Island? Seriously? How about Sunrise Highway, which has tens of thousands of polluting cars idling in traffic every day. Or the chemicals everyone puts on their laws that seeps into the ground water. Or the millions of gallons of sewage that this county is too incompetent to properly treat. Airplanes are so far down the list of things wrong with this area, it's not even worth bothering with it. Things change, technology advances, and flight paths adjust. This is the burden you must accept when you live in a major metro area. Sorry.
Craig Lombardo February 21, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Thanks Tony. Glad to hear things are quieter in Tampa. Sounds nice. Unfortunately, I'm locked in NY in more ways than one, so I have to stay and fight for now.
Craig Lombardo February 21, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Jason, agreed on all areas of pollution. I mis-read your first sentence. But the air pollution is only one area of pollution the planes cause. There is the noise and land pollution to factor in. But the flight paths do not magically shift. They only change when residents speak up and fight, and the FAA has had enough...and it's time to do that. The FAA isn't untouchable.
Mr belle harbor February 24, 2013 at 05:15 PM
I live in belle harbor queens. The funny thing is that when the FAA made the announcement that they spent 10 years and countless tax payer dollars and came up with a plan to send even more planes over tax payers community's. the media began interviewing residence in Nassau county where these planes fly at 5,000 to 8,000 feet. Those same planes fly over neponsit and belle harbor at 2,000 to 3,000 feet. Not a word was mentioned and our community. My family has been here before JFK was JFK. We have an area called Riis park just west of our community. You would think that FAA/JFK I use them in the same sentence because they are the same. we pay the FAA with our tax dollars and in turn they serve the interest on the corporate airlines. You would think at that altitude they would divert the planes over Riis park. instead They fly there planes over floyd Bennett field which is parallel to Riis park but further north and turn directly into neponsit and belle harbor. These are the things that drive people crazy. We are surrounded by water. There is a huge park west of use that is bigger than my community. They can turn there planes earlier and fly over a commercial area. But they fly 7 miles just to turn over quiet residential area. After 587 came down the FAA/JFK promised to fly at least 80% of there planes over Riis park. Just like anything else that the FAA/JFK says is a load of horse shit. They answer to big $$$$. Thanks

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