Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Long Island, Queens) sent another letter to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Stephen Dickson demanding answers on what steps the FAA is taking to implement an already agreed-upon plan that they had developed with the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control Facilities (TRACON) to reduce airplane noise that is adversely impacting thousands of Suozzi’s constituents.
Suozzi’s letter is in response to a recent letter from the FAA in which they admitted that there had been a June 13, 2019 agreement between the FAA and TRACON to help reduce airplane noise levels in Nassau County and Western Suffolk. The FAA claimed, however, they it went through an “irregular” and improper review process.
“I appreciate the admission from the FAA that the review process for an already agreed-upon plan was improper. However, I remain incredibly frustrated with their broken bureaucracy which has been unresponsive to the needs of my constituents and has refused to take concrete action which will help improve their lives,” said Suozzi. “I recognize the preeminence of local safety concerns, however, the FAA in concert with the Air Traffic Controllers had developed a plan to address safety and mitigate aircraft noise. It has now been eight months since they backtracked. The plan must be implemented now.”
“Aircraft noise and pollution has become a critical quality of life issue for many of our North Hempstead residents,” said North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “We have attempted to work with the FAA, but we believe that they have consistently kicked the can down the road, or just ignored our requests entirely. It’s time to get their attention. The homeowners who live under their flight paths deserve no less.”
For almost a year, residents of Nassau and Western Suffolk counties have been enduring a significant increase in aircraft traffic and noise. To improve the lives of his constituents, Congressman Suozzi has repeatedly tried to work with the FAA to address this important issue.
Thirteen days after an initial meeting on May 30, 2019, FAA officials signed off an agreement which included several regulatory updates that were to be implemented on June 24, 2019 and would have alleviated the aircraft noise battering local communities. However, on June 18, 2019, the FAA reversed their decision saying that the new regulations “require additional internal valuation.”
Suozzi, after months of requesting an in-person meeting, finally met with the then-new FAA Administrator Steve Dickson in October 2019, where he made clear his frustration with the FAA and asked that they implement the already agreed-upon plan. Suozzi followed up after the meeting asking the Administrator why the FAA backtracked on their regulatory commitments and asked for answers within 30 days.
More than three months later, Suozzi received responses to his questions in the aforementioned letter where the FAA admitted to an improper internal review process but failed to provide any clarification on what measures they are taking to actually implement a plan that had already been approved by FAA and TRACON officials at JFK.