Last week, they met with the members of the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) civic group.
Bob Whitehair, vice president of Queens Quiet Skies, joined dozens of concerned residents at Maspeth Town Hall on 72nd St. to discuss the reasons for the increased plane noise and present a plan to create a “roundtable” group to meet with the FAA.
“It’s made up of elected officials, it’s made up of representatives of the airlines, the airport and other stakeholders,” he explained of the proposed roundtable. “We have a proposal and we have an MOU (memorandum of understanding) approaching people about being on it.”
According to Whitehair, plane noise has spiked due to a lack of regulation compacted with more regimented flight patterns due to the modernization of airplane technology.
While the plan for organized talks with the FAA is still in the developmental stages, residents throughout the borough continue to feel the effects from the planes.
Aside from the loud scream from jet engines over her home at an unrelenting rate, Maspeth resident Kat Peluso added that she often smells fumes during high-traffic flight hours.
“As soon as you hear something, you smell fumes,” Peluso said. “I thought people were barbecuing.”
Peluso was joined at Maspeth Town Hall by several of her fellow community members as well as representatives from Congresswoman Grace Meng’s office, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and others.
“The roundtable idea works and I would like to go into that direction,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo.
Addabbo encouraged residents to continue sending letters to the FAA citing their objections, however he reminded that the process is not going to provide instantaneous solutions.
“We’re on a long road,” Addabbo said. “The road has been paved, but it’s a long road and we just have to keep on that road.”
He added that a roundtable would provide a much-needed platform to come up with smarter and safer ways to organize air traffic.
“I believe that even with the increased amount of flights, there’s enough water, there’s enough empty land beneath us, both at LaGuardia and JFK, to utilize,” he said.