Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), and U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY-17) today announced their call for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to hold a public meeting in Westchester to listen to the overhead airplane noise concerns of residents living near Westchester County Airport (HPN). Their call comes in support of County Executive George Latimer’s request for this public meeting to help address the increase of overhead noise from planes landing and departing at the HPN.
“Excessive overhead airplane noise is severely affecting the quality of life for too many residents living near Westchester County Airport, and the FAA must take substantive steps to provide these communities with the relief they deserve. That’s why I am joining County Executive Latimer in his call to the FAA to hold a public meeting in Westchester,” said Senator Gillibrand. “A public meeting would allow the federal officials who are responsible for determining flight patterns to listen to the concerns of Westchester residents directly, and ensure that any effort to reduce overhead flight noise carefully considers the needs of the Westchester community.”
“There’s very little more obnoxious for the residents of Westchester than the non-stop noise pollution emanating from the Westchester County Airport and the planes that fly in and out of it each and every day. These people have serious concerns that deserve to be heard out by the FAA,” said Senator Schumer. “That’s why I’m glad to join the County Executive in his calls for the FAA to come to Westchester and host a public meeting, ASAP. Communities like Westchester have long struggled with incessant airplane noise caused by the highly-trafficked skies above, it’s about time we tackled the issue head-on.”
“I remain committed to mitigating airport noise for the people of Westchester and am pleased to work with County Executive George Latimer to identify solutions to help constituents who live near Westchester County Airport. In keeping with the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 the FAA should hold a public meeting in the County to hear residents’ concerns and then implement strategies to address the noise problems faced by many communities near the Airport,” said Congresswoman Lowey, chair of the House Appropriations Committee.
“I thank US Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer and US Congresswoman Nita Lowey for their support in getting the FAA to hold a public meeting in the County to hear the airport noise concerns of our constituents who live near the Westchester County Airport. We are focused on working with the FAA and the public to find the best solution so we can utilize the airport, while being considerate of the people who live near the airport,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer.
As Westchester officials look to alleviate community concerns about the increasing noise from planes landing and departing Westchester County Airport, Gillibrand, Schumer, and Lowey urge the FAA to listen to their input directly to develop solutions that help reduce noise pollution. Last year’s FAA Reauthorization included several provisions requiring the FAA to help address the issue of aircraft noise for communities located near airports. The legislation included Gillibrand’s provision to require the FAA to designate a regional ombudsmen in each FAA region to serve as a point of contact with the public, including community groups, to address noise, pollution, and safety issues. It also included a provision pushed by Gillibrand to require the FAA to finalize its study of alternative metrics for measuring aircraft noise. In addition, the bill directed the FAA to conduct a study on health risks that noise and aircraft flights may pose to exposed residents.
Chairwoman Lowey secured report language in the Fiscal Year 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Bill to require the FAA to evaluate the existing noise standards. She is also a member of the Quiet Skies Caucus and is the cosponsor of several pieces of legislation to study and address airport noise.
The full text of Gillibrand’s, Schumer’s, and Lowey’s letter to the FAA can be found here and below:
Ms. Evelyn Martinez
FAA Airports District Office
1 Aviation Plaza
Jamaica, NY 11434
Dear Ms. Martinez:
We write to support Westchester County Executive George Latimer’s recent request that the FAA hold a public meeting in Westchester to hear the airport noise concerns of our constituents who live near Westchester County Airport (HPN).
Many residents of communities surrounding HPN have contacted our offices, as well as Mr. Latimer’s, to complain about increasing noise from planes landing and departing at HPN. In keeping with the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, we urge the FAA to hold a public meeting to hear how Westchester residents are being negatively impacted by the noise.
The Westchester County Executive’s Office has extensive data from its noise monitors and flight records, as well as the recorded noise complaints from residents. We hope that the FAA and Westchester County can use that information, as well as input from the public meeting, to work together to develop some noise mitigation solutions.