As a lifelong resident of Flushing, I would like to commend my Councilman Peter Koo.
In his official response to the city's draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed rezoning of Flushing West, a currently largely industrial area which would become mixed-use as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's affordable housing initiative, he forcefully spoke out on the negative health impacts of airplane noise and pollution on residential communities, and called on the Department of City Planning to work with the Federal Aviation Administration to return to the noise abatement flight paths that were in widespread use prior to 2012.
Flushing has been hit especially hard by such harmful LaGuardia flight patterns as the infamous TNNIS Climb, which the FAA approved unilaterally in 2012, without proper environmental review, and over the objections of local elected officials and residents.
Concentrated, GPS-based flight paths like TNNIS are part of the FAA's ongoing nationwide implementation of its NextGen program, which seeks to save fuel and increase efficiency for the airlines, often at the expense of those on the ground.
Subjecting thousands more residents to these hazardous routes, as would occur once Flushing West becomes a reality, would be a grave environmental injustice. In the recent past, the City Council has ignored its own recommendations on ways to reduce airplane noise and pollution.
In 2010, the City Council issued a report in the New York City Administrative Code Section 24-205 called "Strategies to Reduce Sound Levels Related to Airports", and instead members have told their constituents to complain to their state and federally elected representatives.
Kudos to Councilman Koo for bucking his colleagues and taking a stand on this very important issue.
NY Community Aviation Roundtable Representative
Member, Queens Quiet Skies