When the Global Gateway Alliance formed, it enlisted the membership of the Regional Plan Association, New York University and other NYC institutions. With access to such a wellspring of experts, engineers and researchers, I wonder how basic facts can continue to elude the Global Gateway Alliance and its executive director, Steven Sigmund.
In a recent news article regarding runway expansion at LaGuardia, Sigmund states: “...the NextGen plan to replace planes’ GPS with satellite systems, will reduce delays on crowded runways and therefore decrease unnecessary noise from planes circling above them."
What planes circling above them? Holding patterns are conducted many miles from regional airports. There are only departures and arrivals in NYC airspace, no holding patterns. This is easily verifiable by logging on to the Port Authority web site, which tracks flights in real time.
Also, in an article in this paper, he recently stated the following: “In 2013, LaGuardia was the second most delayed airport in the country. The TNNIS climb is needed.”
The TNNIS climb was in use for all of 2013. So why didn't it reduce the delays? Why was LaGuardia the second most delayed airport in the country in 2013, when the “needed” TNNIS climb had already been fully implemented in 2012?
The people of Queens whose health is now at risk because of NextGen pollution deserve a discourse consisting of valid and accurate information. Many of the Global Gateway Alliance’s stated goals are agreeable and attainable. Our interests are not necessarily incongruous. However, we won’t be lied to. We will not be misled. NextGen has been implemented mindlessly, and without regard for the health and well-being of thousands of Queens residents.
I believe it’s time for the GGA to establish a dialogue with impacted communities in Queens, instead of advocating against them. Until then, we are not going away. We will continue to fight.