Village Looks to Make Further Inroads Into Aircraft Noise Abatement and Air Traffic
The Village of Floral Park’s air traffic noise abatement efforts continue to soar. At a board of trustees meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 16, Trustee Mary-Grace Tomecki reported that the Village of Floral Park was recently invited by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to participate in the NY Metro Area Fixed-Wing and Helicopter Operations Symposium. Tomecki and Deputy Mayor Thomas J. Tweedy attended the symposium, which was held on Nov. 8 at the FAA’s Eastern Region Headquarters in Queens, on behalf of Floral Park.
The duo attended the event “in an effort to not only learn about current and upcoming developments in traffic patterns over Floral Park but to interface with the key decision makers from an industry that has a regular impact on the quality of life in our village,” Tomecki said.
The symposium joined officials from the FAA and the Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC); representatives from the offices of Senator Charles E. Schumer, Congressman Gary Ackerman and Congressman Steve Israel; and representatives from the towns of Hempstead, North Hempstead and East Hampton. Spreading its wings even further in the air traffic realm, “The Village of Floral Park was the only village invited to attend,” Tomecki said. Floral Park’s participation in the symposium complements its ongoing joint efforts with the Town-Village Aircraft Safety & Noise Abatement Committee and the ERHC.
A variety of topics were explored at the Nov. 8 symposium, but of particular interest and pertinence to Floral Park was the FAA’s presentation on NextGen technology, according to Tomecki. NextGen is an umbrella term for the ongoing, wide-ranging transformation of the National Airspace System (NAS), as stated on the FAA’s website. At its most basic level, NextGen represents an evolution from a ground-based system of air traffic control to a satellite-based system of air traffic management. This evolution is vital to meeting future demand, and to avoiding gridlock in the sky and at our nation’s airports, the website states.
“Congress is currently funding research into [NextGen], which could ultimately help alleviate some of the disruption for communities living under the flight paths,” Tomecki said. “One important element in this technology allows what is known as continuous descent arrival, or CDAs. CDAs allow aircraft to fly continuous descent airport approaches rather than what is known as traditional step-downs, which ultimately conserves fuel. Less fuel not only translates to mean less fumes, it also equates to less noise. Planes currently flying into JFK on all runways, including runways 22 left and 22 right over Floral Park, utilize the step-down approach,” she added.
When fully implemented, NextGen will allow more aircraft to safely fly closer together on more direct routes, reducing delays and providing unprecedented benefits for the environment and the economy through reductions in carbon emissions, fuel consumption and noise, according to the FAA.
Tomecki noted the role the FAA has played in support of a cap on air traffic. “As you may recall, in 2006, Floral Park lobbied successfully in Washington, D.C., for the institution of a cap on the number of airplanes that fly into and out of Kennedy in an hour. Thanks to these efforts and the support of the Bush Administration, air flows in and out of Kennedy currently cannot exceed 82 planes an hour during peak periods. The FAA through its New York Area Delay Reduction Plan also supports the cap on air traffic in an effort to reduce delays,” she said.