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.

Daniel February 20, 2013 at 10:22 AM
There may be many factors you're not considering. As a pilot I know that there is already a lot of procedures in place to avoid noise pollution and are issued to the aviation community in the form of noise abatement procedures. Depending on the runway they use, as determined by wind direction, is what may be causing the routes overhead in order to loop aircraft around to land. It may also be to preserve the integrity of wildlife preserves that are within close proximity of the airport. The New York Metropolitan area airspace is a busy one with very limited room. To alter flight path just for your comfort could be catastrophic because you are requesting paths to move either further west towards Newark or north near Laguardia airspace to land in a southward direction.
Thomas Nathan February 20, 2013 at 05:16 PM
Unless you bought your house before the airport was built stop complaining as all you are looking for is to push the problem over someone else's home. Off course I am assuming it is not a problem when you fly out of JFK.
Nunia February 20, 2013 at 07:11 PM
Nassau County can't even get its act together enough to pay its employees. Flight path changes are well beyond its power. Unfortunately you, the average American citizen, are powerless in today's government. Fly that plane over a government officials house and watch how fast it changes.
Craig Lombardo February 21, 2013 at 05:52 AM
Tom, if you read my letter, this wasn't a problem before Oct 2011. The FAA pushed these routes RECENTLY over our neighborhoods. Your assumption of me looking to have the routes pushed over someone elses homes are absurd. We live on an island. Why can't landing/departures take place over the water?
Craig Lombardo February 21, 2013 at 05:56 AM
Daniel, How were the paths managed before Oct 2011, when they weren't departing over Nassau County the way they are now? This isn't for my specific comfort...this is a recent encroachment over our neighborhoods that didn't exist before.
Craig Lombardo February 21, 2013 at 05:59 AM
Nunia, they are flying over government officials homes. And there is progress toward stopping this. Read comments on the same article for the Rockville Centre Patch: http://rockvillecentre.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-jfk-flight-pattern-a-problem#comments Join the fight.
Thomas Nathan February 21, 2013 at 02:59 PM
@Craig so basically someone else has had to deal with this problem before Oct 2011 and when the FAA gave them a break you started with your complaining. If the reason is work on the runways, weather or anything else. You live near an airport and occasionally will get airport noise. The airport has been there for nearly 70 years and you afre complaing about noise in the past few months. Giv it a rest.
Craig Lombardo February 21, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Thomas, it is more than occasional noise. When traffic is heading this way, it is every 2 minutes. Does that not sound excessive to you? But good for you for giving the FAA exactly what they want...for residents to sit silently and deal with it. I, on the other hand, choose to protect my home value. Seeing there is a committee formed, apparently I'm not the only one who wants to protect our home values. The objective of this column is to share information from other residents that will contribute toward the battle against the FAA, not waste my time against the few stragglers who are "OK to deal with it". So thanks for your opinion. It accomplished nothing. Good day.
Thomas Nathan February 21, 2013 at 05:19 PM
@Craig Again you are just looking to push the problem to someone else so you dont have to deal with it. Its pretty obvious sonmeone is going to have to deal with noise from the airport. So its called share the burden. As you pointed out yourself, you didn't have any of the burden prior to Oct 2011 and a change due to either construction, weather or others complaining pushed some of that noise over your house. Well yes it is too bad. BTW unless your house is for saleit really has nothing to do with the value of your home as the value of your home is a relatively meaningless factor when you live there (since jet noise is not a factor for property tax valuation).
Craig Lombardo February 22, 2013 at 06:08 AM
Tom, Im leaving your feed on this note. Enjoy. http://www.aviationairportdevelopmentlaw.com/2012/02/articles/faa-1/faa-reauthorization-act-changes-rules-for-valuation-of-residential-properties/


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