Our mission is to support aircraft noise and pollution mitigation efforts of citizens and elected officials in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and New Jersey.
The following letter commenting on a proposed FAA rule change ( 1050.1E to 1050.1F) was sent on our behalf by Congresspersons Meng, Israel and Crowley. If you live along any flight paths to the Metro airports, and your congressional reps did not sign the letter, then please ask them why they didn’t and, if you can, please let me know the reason not. To my knowledge the FAA has never responded to Congresspersons Meng, Israel and Crowley nor have they responded to my letter on the FAA rule change. Please call , write or email your representative and ask if he/she received a response to their letter and , if not, why not. This is very important because, in my opinion FAA, will use their distorted interpretation of the CATEX in changes to 1050.1f, to avoid a comprehensive review of environmental changes that may result from the NY Metroplex implementation in 2015.
January 18, 2014
Michael P. Huerta, Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20591
Dear Administrator Huerta:
We write with concern about the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposed Order 1050.1F, which would establish two new categorical exclusions to avoid an environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act. The two new categorical exclusions appear to be written overly broadly and, consequently, categorically excluded procedural changes could additionally increase the noise burden over our constituents’ homes. Together, the proposed exclusions further solidify our constituents’ view that the FAA is unconcerned with the effect of airplane noise on their well being. For example, many feel that the FAA set a bad precedent by not conducting an environmental study of the TNNIS IV climb, a procedure permanently implemented at the beginning of this year. The FAA should be focused on ensuring changes made to existing procedures and routes do not negatively affect the people who live around these airports, not making it easier to avoid studying their potentially negative impacts. The legislative language to justify these changes, Section 213(c) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, cites the ability of the Administrator to determine the existence of extraordinary circumstances with respect to the proposed categorical exclusions. If the Administrator determines extraordinary circumstances exist, the exclusion could not be applied. We believe that you should determine that extraordinary circumstances exist, and therefore the order and categorical exclusions contained within do not apply, at both JFK and LGA because: 1) New York City has the most congested airspace in the country; 2) the complexity of NextGen implementation combined with Air Space Redesign introduces unique environmental and community noise considerations; 3) the large population affected in New York City and Long Island; 4) the proximity of three major airports; and 5) the ongoing demands of our community for a full environmental review of previous changes. We believe that these are exactly the type of extraordinary circumstances Congress had in mind when it passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act. The concentration of noise over our constituents’ homes demands a closer look at the proposed rule. We understand the desire to quickly implement NextGen technology, but it need not occur at the expense of our constituents’ quality of life. According to the FAA, categorical exclusions “represent actions that the FAA has found based on past experience with similar actions, do not normally require an EA or EIS because they do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment…” We believe that the indiscriminate application of 1050.1F precludes consideration of exceptions that are similar to past actions that have unquestionably created notable effects on our constituents. To continue implementing these policies without a conscientious review of their effects constitutes turning a blind eye to the many points we and our constituents have raised in the past. We have submitted a copy of this letter as official comment during the rulemaking process. We look forward to your timely response and ask you to seriously consider our requests.
Congresswoman Grace Meng
Congressman Steve Israel
Congressman Joseph Crowley
The Roundtable and Part 150 Study.
Planning and executing the Part 150 Study has been a painfully slow process with administrative issues seemingly taking priority over the more practical aspects of getting the project going. Everybody can take credit for the delays. Governor Cuomo directed the PANYNJ to do the study and form a Roundtable in November 2013, and a more formal announcement was made in March 2014. To date (July 18, 2014) there have been three meetings and have not yet got to the nuts and bolts of a working round table nor the critical inputs by citizens to the actual study.
Senators Gillibrand and Schumer have yet to show any inclination to help us. Senator Schumer has been quoted as saying that he supports the Roundtable concept and the the need for additional noise monitors. The last we heard from the Senator was 8/8/2013 when he asked the PANYNJ for additional monitors.
As you all know the helicopter noise season has started and is in full force. You also probably realize that the new North Shore Route regulations established 2 years ago, and now extended for another 2 years have not, and will not, help us here in the Town of North Hempstead.
Although the impression was given that the new regulation would help us, it turns out the rule has no impact on the transition of the helicopters to and from the North Shore route which is the major cause our helicopter noise issue. Most disturbing is the fact that the ERHC, which had a solution to the noise problem for us on the North Shore, withdrew the solution when the new rule was issued. The ERHC maintains that continuing to use the solution route after the new regs were instituted would have caused liability/legal issues. I, Len Schaier, believe its a gotcha! By the way the people on the East end don’t believe the rule is helping them either. To add insult to injury, the ERHC does not even add the helicopter noise reports from the Town of North Hempstead into their data base because the formats are “incompatible”. IMHO both our elected officials and the ERHC are responsible for this mess.
Residents along the route to the 22′s at JFK will be seeing increased aircraft traffic.
New FAA Procedures Reduce Separations at Major Airports AIN Air Transport Perspective, June 17, 2013 by Bill Carey June 17, 2013, 11:10 AM Air traffic controllers are using advanced procedures to space aircraft closer together on takeoff and landing at major U.S. airports, making early progress toward a major goal of the NextGen ATC modernization effort—increasing airspace capacity. Michael Huerta, Federal Aviation Administration administrator, described two such procedures at the June 4 meeting of the RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC): closely spaced parallel operations (CSPO) and equivalent lateral spacing operations (ELSO). The NAC, chaired by Alaska Air Group chairman Bill Ayer, is a high-level government and industry committee representing all segments of aviation that advises the FAA on NextGen implementation. Under CSPO, aircraft pairs arriving at an airport with parallel runways that are separated by 2,500 feet or less are staggered to observe 1.5 nm diagonal separation between leading and trailing aircraft on the separate runways. The FAA expects the procedure will increase runway “throughput” at major airports, especially when bad weather prohibits visual approaches. CSPO landings are being conducted at San Francisco International Airport, where parallel runways are separated by just 750 feet, and could be applied at 17 of the 35 largest airports in the U.S., Huerta said. The FAA has approved a reduced separation standard of 1.5 nm (down from 3 nm) for staggered approaches to runways in Boston, New York, St. Louis, Cleveland, Seattle, Memphis, Philadelphia and San Francisco. “This is a little bit of a Holy Grail for us,” Huerta said. “We’ve been working diligently to increase the number of aircraft that can land at an airport each hour while maintaining safety…Technology across the board has improved to such an extent that we are extremely confident that we can operate aircraft at closer proximity and still be just as safe.” ELSO reduces the minimum angle, or “divergence,” between the departure routes of aircraft on takeoff. The conventional separation standard requires a divergence of 15 degrees between departing flights; by taking advantage of area navigation (Rnav) equipment on board most current airliners, the divergence angle can be reduced by about half. Controllers can space routes more closely together and clear aircraft for takeoff more efficiently. The FAA started using the new separation standard at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in October 2011. “The precision of NextGen navigation means that we can safely allow jets to take off on headings that are slightly closer together,” Huerta said. “We’ve been using this small change in Atlanta, and we’re seeing an increase of eight to 12 airplanes departing per hour.” The agency estimates that ELSO has also saved airlines $20 million in fuel and reduced waiting times in its first year. Huerta said that ELSO is among 15 updates the FAA plans to incorporate in Order 7110.65, the manual that prescribes air traffic controller standards and procedures. He noted that the agency published the controllers’ manual long before “performance-based” navigation came into use, and it must be updated to take advantage of NextGen procedures.