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.
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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…