Southeast Queens is no stranger to airplane noise. Situated next to the runways of Kennedy Airport, the neighborhoods of Rosedale, Laurelton, Cambria Heights and Springfield Gardens have dealt with the problem for decades.
But lately, some in Southeast Queens are noticing the skies about them are getting a bit noisier for a lot longer.
Dwight Johnson, president of the Federated Blocks of Laurelton civic group said he has seen “double or triple” the amount of planes in recent years.
“They just come over for hours,” he said. “The noise is such that people are starting to have hearing problems.”
Johnson points the finger at construction at JFK for the rerouting of planes over Southeast Queens. The north/south runways were utilized more frequently during the 2010 reconstruction of the “bay runway,” the airport’s main strip, but that project has been completed for about two years. Johnson said that was about the time the planes became more frequent. Currently there is no runway construction going on at JFK, only work at terminals.
One of JFK’s main landing routes takes planes over western Nasssau County, then low over Laurelton and Rosedale for Runway 22L. That route has been heavily used for decades.
But lately, planes outbound from JFK often fly at low altitude northeast over Springfield Gardens, Laurelton and Rosedale, and often late into the night.
Johnson said beside the increase in noise, he would also like to see local civic groups invited to meetings held about construction and flight pattern changes at JFK, and he has tried reaching out to the Port Authority and Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica) about being included.
“How can you go through all of this and not hear the concerns of the people?” he said.
The Port Authority declined to comment on flight paths, but did say it makes every attempt to reach out to communities that might be affected by work at JFK.