Decibels On The Rise, Making A Good Night's Sleep Nearly Impossible

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Nassau County residents were to sound off about new flight patterns for John F. Kennedy International Airport at a meeting on Monday as anger grows over increased aircraft noise.

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The Port Authority said air traffic controllers used Runway 22Lfor 800 more overnight landings between September and December of last year than in the same period in 2010 — a jump of nearly 32 percent.

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Residents took out their cameras and recorded some of what is keeping them up at all hours, complaining that arrival noise at JFK in the middle of the night is only getting worse, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

“The airplanes are coming over constantly,” one person said.

“There has to be some judgment so we spread out the pain,” another said.

Despite promises from the Federal Aviation Administration to better monitor flights allowing homeowners a good night’s sleep, there has been no improvement. And locals say they’re miserable.

“It wakes you up at 3 o’clock in the morning,” one person said.

“It’s so noisy you’re inclined to go deaf,” another said.

Those living in the flight path in Floral Park, New Hyde Park and Elmont said there has been a discernible increase in noise.

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Angry people living in communities along the runway approach path are e-mailing and calling an FAA hotline demanding to know why.

“Why are they dumping on 22L — the communities in the north end — when they used to have an agreement not to come in between 11 at night and 7 in the morning?” wondered Laurence Quinn of The Town Village Aircraft Safety and Noise Abatement Committee.

The village of Floral Park is so bombarded with plane noise it got FAA approval to install a noise monitor inside the bird sanctuary and it confirmed exploding decibel levels.

“This goes on all night. It is the cargo planes and the cargo planes are even louder than the passenger planes,” said the Aircraft Safety and Noise Abatement Committee’s Linda Dersch.

The FAA responded by saying: “…runway selection is based on wind, weather, volume, safety, efficiency and noise.”

Added the Port Authority: “…we will continue to work on noise abatement issues, such as soundproofing schools, and alternating runways…”

The air traffic controllers union at Kennedy Airport said deciding which runway to use is based on safety and a need to reduce delays.

Politicians and aviation officials were to meet with residents at 7:30 p.m. at the Garden City Library to address concerns.

The event was to be hosted by the Town Village Aircraft Safety and Noise Abatement Committee, a group that represents nearly 145,000 people in 13 communities in Hempstead and North Hempstead.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

Comments (23)
  1. Paul says:

    I live on the south shore of suffolk county in the Bayport/Sayville area and believe it or not, we are in the flight path for JFK as well. The pilots follow the south shore for most of the way as JFK is on the south shore of Queens. I hear them close enough every once in a while and you can hear it getting louder because they are 10 minutes from landing but it’s really not that bad. I also live right next to LIRR tracks and the train comes by and shakes my house blaring the horn at least 3x per hour. I learned to live with it and I’m used to it. If you live in the New York metro area, this is what you get. It’s New York not Wyoming people!

  2. DanTe says:

    If the planes are low enough to hear, than they’re low enough to shoot. Start putting holes in them and they’ll reroute. Simple.

  3. Tom says:

    Some of the comments here about how we should just live with the noise are just outrageous , its got to be balanced better . I have spent 3 years here in Port Washington and sorry , would not have moved anywhere close to Howard Beach or known very loud zones , for any reason, specifically because of the noise, I did at that time have the choice, and freely elected a much more quiet neighborhood and paid thru the nose for it , and I am not rich . Now all sudden its non stop aircraft noise over my house, and yes all you people with the unhelpful and insensitive comments , I do not like it !! I understand that there are other areas worse off then my area, and remain empathetic to those people who are now getting worse exposure of course. Please however , don’t tell me to get over it , or move , or we will see to it that your beer money gets reduced accordingly.

  4. Melissa says:

    I grew up in Howard Beach, get over it people.

  5. Michael H. says:

    I lived under the JFK flight path in Brooklyn for my entire childhood. We even had the Concorde going over our heads every morning and afternoon. Nobody complained because we knew when we moved in just how close to the airport we were. These folks out on the Island need to get over themselves. If you want to live close to a major metropolitan area you have to put up with everything that comes with it, including air traffic noise. If you don’t like it, move out to the sticks and all you’ll hear are the crickets.

  6. don says:

    The north shore of Nassau has been battling dangerously low flying commuter helicopters for the past few years. They are incessantly flying at dangerously low altitudes and land-hugging patterns – not over water. Houses shake from the vibration and the copters intentionally fly so low at times that you can see the numbers on the aircraft.
    Calls to Schumer’s office and FAA have gone unanswered

  7. Oceanchick says:

    i’m on north shore suffolk and we get it coming and going, day and night. sometimes the planes are so low you can read their insignia and tails. not just cargo but passenger flights. lived here 2 yrs and it was mostly quiet, last year or so it has gotten very loud. for the ppl complaining about ppl complaining b/c they may live around an airport, i’m closer to islip than i am to jfk or lga, and i never hear anything out of islip. i’m more that 30 miles even as the crow flies from both major airports.

  8. Oceanchick says:

    i’m on north shore suffolk and we get it coming and going, day and night. sometimes the planes are so low you can read their insignia and tails. not just cargo but passenger flights. lived here 2 yrs and it was mostly quiet, last year or so it has gotten very loud. for the ppl complaining about ppl complaining b/c they may live around an airport, i’m closer to islip than i am to jfk or lga, and i never hear anything out of islip.

  9. Jimmy Rosco says:

    Leave it up to the FAA union to use safety and delay as an excuse.

  10. Rocco says:

    The airport was there when the complainers moved around it. If they can’t stand the heat, they should get out of the kitchen and move to Jersey.

    1. Veronica says:

      That is so wrong. This type of thing is happening everywhere. We moved to Great Neck (which is not quite New Jersey) a year and a half ago, and it’s happening here, too. The FAA can and should spread the pain, and do the proper environmental studies. Which they have NOT done. Don’t think that because people complain you can dismiss them as “complainers.”

  11. Ken says:

    More flights,more profit for Port Authority.And that’s probably all that matters to them.

  12. gene monihan says:

    Hey its about time someone else gets to suffer!!!! I lived in the Far Rockaway & Five Towns area for almpst 60 years and had to put up with that airplane noise. Im glad the FAA decided to give the south shore residents some relief!!!

  13. Junior says:

    You people move within 30 miles of one of the largest and busiest airports in the Country and World and cry about noise??? Was the airport there first, or you? If you answer the airport, zip it!

    1. Tom says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself!!!

    2. JK says:

      Hey, tough guy, have you bothered to read the story? For decades, JFK respected the quality of lives of it’s Long Island neighbors through restrictions on altitude and overnight flights. Suddenly, those protections have been tossed. I have been a Nassau County resident since 1972, and have never expereinced anything like the around the clock, every 2 minutes low flying planes we have expereinced since October.

      Have you stopped to consider that maybe tough talking fools who beat their chests and yell “Get over it!” every time people try and protect their jobs, neighborhoods, environment and quality of life is one of the reasons this country is in the shape it’s in? Just a thought……

  14. Nadine says:

    And Rosedale as well in the flight path JFK.

  15. VY says:

    Some weather and wind conditions dictate some runways that take the incoming flights over Nassau.
    You want the easy access to the airport but you don’t want the noise?
    Where do you suggest the planes fly on their way to JFK?, over Vermont?
    Shut up or move.

    1. Veronica says:

      Were you at the meeting? Well, I was. These people know that some noise comes with the location, but not a 300% increase and planes over certain communities for days at a time. That’s just not right.

    2. JK says:

      I’ve been a Nassau County resident for 40 years. Everyone accepts that wind or poor visibility sometimes results in planes flying over our neighborhoods. What we object to is the FAA removing altitude restrictions and using routes that were previously reserved for bad weather conitions around the clock. Spare us the tough talking catch phrases, please. Some of us are attempting to have an adult discussion.

      1. Tom says:

        Well Said JK

  16. susan says:

    its a simple as if you live close to an airport, you have to expect noise or at least to be in the flight path of one runway or can move from the area close by the airport to avoid the noise,but most people wont..they complain , but they do want the convenience of a local airport not too far away..

  17. nycsewer says:


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