Meng And Israel Urge Port Authority To Soundproof Schools In Queens Impacted By Increased Airplane Noise

Oct 30, 2013
Press Release
Congressmembers call for action in letter to agency’s executive director

U.S. Reps. Grace Meng (D-Queens) and Steve Israel (D-Huntington) today called on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to look into soundproofing schools in northeast Queens in order to prevent constant interruptions due to airplane noise created by new flight patterns and procedures over the area.

In a letter to Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye, the lawmakers urged his agency to work with Community District Education Council 26 (the school district in the area) to identify schools impacted by changes to aircraft routes and procedures, and to finance soundproofing the same way it has done with 45 other New York area schools affected by airplane noise.   

“The barrage of increased aircraft noise over Queens continues to impact the quality of life in the borough, but it is imperative that we not let it affect our kids,” said Meng. “Our children should not be forced to attend schools where they need to wear earplugs during class. They deserve to be taught in quiet classrooms that are conducive to learning. For the sake of our kids’ education, it is critical that the Port Authority be response to reducing the impact of loud airplane noise over our schools.”

Rep. Israel said, “We must ensure that our children in Queens are able to learn without constant disruption from airplane noise. That’s why Rep. Meng and I are calling on the Port Authority to take the crucial step of soundproofing local schools where students are negatively impacted. It’s bad enough that the quality of life for many Queens residents is suffering due to new flight patterns; it’s even worse that it’s now affecting our children’s ability to learn.”

Community District Education Council 26 is scheduled to host a discussion on the new airplane noise tonight night in Little Neck.

The new flight patterns and procedures over northeast Queens were implemented earlier this year.

The text of the letter is below and a PDF is here.

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October 29, 2013

Patrick Foye
Executive Director
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
225 Park Avenue South
New York, N.Y. 10003

Dear Executive Director Foye:

We write to urge the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to work with Community District Education Council (CDEC) 26 for the purpose of identifying schools that need soundproofing due to aircraft noise.

The Port Authority’s effort to soundproof 45 New York schools is commendable and has greatly helped students in the classroom. Unfortunately, new flight routes that began in February, 2012 have affected schools in CDEC 26 that were not previously under the flight routes. While it is our understanding that the Port Authority is updating its noise contours, which determine eligibility for the soundproofing program, we ask that the PANYNJ work with CDEC 26 to address noise concerns in an expedient manner.

We appreciate your continued attention to the many problems that are a direct result of the new flight routes.

Sincerely,

Grace Meng                                          Steve Israel

Member of Congress                             Member of Congress