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Saturday, September 20, 2014
Guest Opinion
The FAA: a rogue operation?
Dr. John H. Humins

The Federal Aviation Administration is up to its dirty tricks again. It is desperately trying to end the environmental impact study (EIS) being sought by citizens and civic organizations in the greater New York area, and nationally.

EIS reviews make it more difficult for the FAA to have its way in expanding flight operations. These reviews are time-consuming and expensive for the FAA, which has grown used to having its own way. Increasingly, however, citizens are concerned about its policies and imperious attitude.

The FAA has constantly ignored the impact of plane noise and pollution on area residents. That’s nothing new. What is new is the magnitude of its assault on communities throughout the greater New York metropolitan area, and around the nation. The FAA has disregarded and violated established flight protocols and standard operating procedures, and has done so without public notice and review. For instance, FAA flight operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport are 24 hours a day when you include freight operations. This abuse raises the questions: When do people sleep comfortably? Can children study at home? Will residents be able to enjoy a barbecue or open their windows for fresh air when flights scream overhead?

The FAA’s arrogance is a hindrance to communicating with citizens concerned about the negative impact of its policies on their lives. Most people don’t realize that the FAA exists solely to serve the interests of the airline industry. The FAA does not want to hear that people are suffering as a result of its policies. For instance, the FAA displays daily its complete disregard for the dangers of aviation pollution. Yet there is mounting evidence that pollution spewed by planes is a cause of autism. Simply put, airplane emissions are extremely toxic. That is a major reason why the FAA should direct out-to-sea as many flights as possible out to sea. This won’t happen because the FAA doesn’t care. All it cares about is facilitating the increase in the volume of air travelers and thereby increasing the airline industry’s profits.

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