Nassau County Residents Complain Of Noise From JFK Airport Planes

VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Some Nassau County residents describe the noise overnight from increased use of JFK airport‘s runway 22L, also known as the “runway of last resort,” as unbearable.

Some, like Kim, say that planes are flying too low over their homes and can clearly read what it says on the side of the aircraft.

“It’s so low that when I have my grandson in the pool, I go ‘Look what they’re eating!’,” she said.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs In Nassau County

But others, like Russ in Valley Stream, say the planes are no louder than all that other noise out there.

“I also live by a busy street. So, I’m used to trucks, tractor-trailers. Motorcycles are probably worse than the planes are at night,” said Russ. “It’s becoming more of the big city in Nassau County now.”

Residents in Stewart Manor said the noise is like clockwork. Every five to ten minutes, the whining engines of airplanes on approach to JFK make an insufferable racket.

“You hear one right now, it’s coming right now, the whining sound of the engines,” resident James Ross told CBS 2’s Kendis Gibson.

The sound of passing airplanes has long been a part of life in the area, but residents said it’s becoming more frequent – and harder to ignore.

“It’s pretty loud, it’s constant,” Ross said.

Stewart Manor’s noise problem is all due to runway 22L. It’s supposed to be a runway of last resort, used only when weather, traffic and construction prevent planes from landing at other runways.

Lately, though, it’s been a different story. Port Authority statistics show the number of arrivals at runway 22L have nearly doubled this year, from about 3,200 in January to more than 6,200 in May, and it appears to be the runway of choice in the overnight hours.

It’s made life tough for Lori Sceles, a mother of three from Stewart Manor.

“They’ll come running in my room scared, saying ‘what is that noise,’” Sceles said.

Stewart Manor and Valley Stream are two of 13 Long Island communities that came together to try to push the FAA and Port Authority to do something about the noise problem.

Many want something done about the problem, seeking a reduction of late night arrivals on runway 22L, a ban on low flying planes, and more equitable distribution of overnight flights to other runways.

“You can actually wave to the pilot, that’s how close they are,” Stewart Manor resident George Bici said.

Runway 22L accounted for one-third of all of JFK’s arrivals this spring.

Have you noticed the noise? Let us know below…

More from Mike Xirinachs
  • Mike

    I agree with John – the planes are constant and noisy in areas of long island that are nowhere near the airport. I live in Plainview in eastern nassau and at night and on weekends the planes drone overhead every minute or two. I can’t imagine how loud they are once they turn towards the airport through hicksville and westbury and then head through places like Stewart Manor. There is no reason they can’t spread it out more and not buzz the same neighborhoods over and over – that’s all people are asking.

  • William

    “They’ll come running in my room scared, saying ‘what is that noise,’” Sceles said.

    Are you serious? You know what a plane is, right? “It’s only a plane”should probably be the answer there. Don’t you explain things to your kids?

    “You hear one right now, it’s coming right now, the whining sound of the engines,” Do you hear yourself saying that? If the engines didn’t make that whining sound, then you’d better run for cover. The whining noise is a good thing, trust me.

    What a bunch of NIMBY snobbiness. News flash, people: in order for people to come and go from New York, PLANES need to fly around it. And they need to make noise in doing so. There are already PLENTY of noise abatement restrictions in place around JFK to minimize the noise. You people must have very short memories and must have forgotten about the jets of 20 years ago that no longer fly because they were too loud. You have it way better now than you did then. Try living in the Five Towns if you really want to hear noise.

    I love it when people want convenience and then don’t want to pay the price for it. Part of the reason I left Long Island, because of this type of elitist garbage. Long Islanders want to complain about the noise planes make, but then they want a plane to take them to Florida in the winter. Unbelievable.

    Oh by the way, that was pretty good footage of that LAN 767 by the way. Kudos to the cameraman.

  • HoBe Spotter

    I am a plane spotter and have worked around planes during my early years. These folks have no idea what aircraft noise is……compared to the aircraft that use to fly in the 70’s and early 80’s, the current aircraft are very quiet (the subway and Long Island Railroad is much noisier). Think of the folks that live near military bases, where F15s and other jets roar. If the noise is that much of a nuisance then my suggestion is move or get ear plugs. I’m surprised that some individuals hear anything at all, especially when they have their iTunes blasting.

    I reside right next to one of JFKs runways and have aircraft taking off and some times landing right over the house daily, and it doesn’t bother me at all, I actually enjoy seeing and hearing these fantastic wonders. I am hoping JFK actually adds another runway adjacent to 13R/31R, but now we have the enviromentalists complaing about the fish, the birds, the turtles, etc…..OH PLEASE!!!!

  • Mike Shulman

    I’m a plane spotter from Brooklyn. I often take a taxi out to Rockaway Blvd to see all the great planes landing on Rwy 22L. However, I agree that the landings should never be allowed during the nigh to keep residents awake. The13L approach over the Belt Parkway would be more sensible at those times of night. Not everybody loves planes like I do so it could be a nightmare. Rwy 22L in past decades was hardly used; mostly between 2PM and 5 PM, but now is used 24/7.

  • me

    I live in south valley stream, have lived here my entire life & i hardly even notice the planes. also, why do you people have to mean with the comments. jealous because the planes fly over some of the richest neighborhoods. grow up.

  • frank grimes

    my house is next door to Cape Canaveral. You people have no idea how good you have it.

  • Sean

    First off, the people in Stewart Manor need to stop complaining. I live in South Valley Stream, and when you buy the house, you know what you’re going to be dealing with. Yeah, it’s loud, but what do you expect? You live right next to an airport. It’s not like JFK was built three months ago, it’s been there over 50 years. Deal with it.

  • badman

    Nassau: attack of the low-flying jets and road-raging vitos

  • Wow.

    I read that they were thinking of converting an existing airfield in L.I. to another commercial one. STEREO!!!

  • VY

    Commercial jets have been flying into and out of JFK since the summer of 1959. So almost everyone complaining bought their homes AFTER the jets were already flying over their homes. No one wants the noise but they all want the airline service. Whinny Nassau County snobs.

  • John Pine

    I am so glad this is getting attention. I live in Westbury which is nowhere near the airport and on some nights the noise is so bad I cant even sleep. Its a parade of jets and it is getting worse. There is no good reason for them to be at such a low altitude, nor is the wind one, often on nights with NW or calm winds they still fly over, instead of using the ocean routing. JFK is right by the friggin ocean there is no good reason for them to be flying over Nassau! The whining is so bad I just keep my windows closed in summer and put on the a/c to cover it up.

  • Michael the pilot from queens

    Newsflash, theyre using 22L more so you rich long island snobs can fit your fat azzzzzzes into airbus 380s to go to Europe. Shut up, say thank you, and get a white noise generator for your bedroom, snobs.

    • Michael

      They’re redoing the other runway for the 380s for you pigs.
      You’re welcome.

  • William

    I live in rockaway, right across the bay from JFK. One in every three planes into or out of the airport flies directly over my home. Every so often on a really stormy night they fly low enough that it gets a little dicey. Otherwise, you suck it up like an adult and deal. I actually enjoy the plane sometimes and my little boys first words to me were “daddy, pwane”. Get over yourselves you pathetic long island snobs. I grew up out there in Nassau and I’m disgusted by your growing sissiness.

    • Bill for NY

      wait… so you lived in LI and moved to Rockaway? haha, wow, that is the dumbest thing i ever heard. LI’ers invested everything they had to move out of Rockaway and queens to live a normal life. Rockaway is a s*it hole only for animals, bad move, don’t expect the rest of Nassau to accept your low expectations.

      • badman

        and Nassau is a s***hole to the rest of the metro suburbs. You gotta make yourself feel better by comparing yourself to Bklyn

      • badman

        or queens – whatever

      • Bill for NY

        badman, ok, this guy said Rockaway. i can say plenty about Nassau, but don’t compare it to BK and Queens. sprawling city burbs, to an actual suburb. not saying the people are any better but there is more space, so that is better. If Rockaway was washed away into the ocean, the world would not skip a beat

  • So Annoyed

    I live in New Hyde Park. I have planes over my house every minute. No lie. It is horrible to have to live with it.

  • JustSaying

    So, the airport wasn’t there when you bought your house? Oh, it was huh? Well what did you THINK you’d be hearing?? Idiots…

    • j.j.


  • Michael H.

    I lived in Bergen Beach for 25 years, right under JFK’s landing pattern. These people should count their lucky stars that the Concord no longer flies. That was one hell of a racket on take off and landing.

    Such is life in the shadow of an international airport. Don’t like it? It’s easier to move your whining behind than it is to move the airport.

    • Steven

      You always knew when the Concord was taking off or landing. You couldn’t hear yourself thinking.

  • j.j.

    OK, wait a minute…they’ll move the airport just for you.

  • marx engels

    Don’t you say one bad thing about those planes, because they are bringing plenty of rich foreigners to take our homes and our jobs.

    • Pi$$ed Off Long Islander

      Nice. I knew something good would come out of these comments. Answer… Sell your houses near the airport to the foreigners that keep coming here. I love it!!!

      • badman

        bc foreigners are the only ones who would want to move there. everyone else knows better.

  • Kathy Elston Davanzo

    the planes fly right over my house. they fly so low i can see the pilots. I am in the path of the runway.

  • Rich

    These folks need to quit complaining! I lived in Laurelton all my life, right in the landing pattern of JFK. Planes flew so low that you could see the lights in the cabin. And we survived, and so can they!

    • Fed Up

      And where do you live now?

  • Sammy

    Well when you live near and airport you have to expect all this noise. I live like 5 miles from JFK and I don’t mind the noise.

    • John Pine

      Except I dont live by the airport, I live in Westbury. Others live in Hicksville, Mineola, and Roslyn and have jets whining 1000-1500 feet above their heads.

  • Pi$$ed Off Long Islander

    Ha! I love people complaining about airplane noise. Even better were the panzies on Long Island complaining about the helicoptor noise flying out east. What is wrong with you people. You moved there, nobody forced you to live there. This is like the people that took out mortgages they couldn’t afford. Nobody forces anyone to do anything….

  • Peter

    Come and live in Hackensack NJ, we have planes from Newark,JFK, Lagaurdia, and Teterboro all day long fly over my house its such a pleasure!!!!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live