To the Editor:
In aviation, winds traditionally dictate flight directions. Not anymore. The Federal Aviation Administration and the Port Authority of New York-New Jersey have arbitrarily changed aviation policy at JFK. As a result, the two shortest runways (22L and 22R) bear a large majority of arrivals and departures. Infuriatingly, this policy was instituted without public notice and review; furthermore, it violated established flight protocols and standard operating procedures.
That’s nothing new. The FAA has an authoritarian nature. It, along with its local partner, the Port Authority, function as if they are in a vacuum. Truth be told, the FAA exists solely to serve the aviation industry. And it has little or no concern for residents living under commercial flight paths.
The changes in aviation policy, the public is told, will enhance aviation “efficiency.” Efficiency means the FAA can compact more flights in and out of an airport. That is accomplished by decreasing the spacing between flights and utilizing parallel runways simultaneously. The ultimate goal is to accommodate more passengers. This is achieved through a “technological modernization effort to increase airspace capacity” called Next Gen. Theoretically, passengers would save time and money, commercial airlines would save millions in fuel costs, profits would soar and society would benefit.
People living near flight paths would not see any benefits. Rather, NextGen would increase the volume of planes, noise and pollution. Many would also experience a decline in quality of life and home values.