The Port Authority revised its plans, which call for the expansion of Runway 4L/22R (between the arrows), at John F. Kennedy Airport due to resident concerns.
Woodsburgh resident Bob Seide, a Town-Village Safety & Noise Abatement Committee (TVASNAC) member, said he doesn’t think the amount of noise generated from air planes flying overhead on their way to John F. Kennedy Airport will change after the comment period regarding a revised Port Authority plan, which includes the expansion of a runway, ends.
“Several years ago the control tower at JFK was supposed to rotate the runways to spread out the noise when there were no strong winds and they did to a certain extent but some pilots prefer certain runways because it’s more convenient for their terminal and uses less fuel coming in and leaving the terminal,” he said. “I don’t think there will be any real change now.”
The Port Authority’s original plans for the threshold– the point at which a plane touches down– of Runway 4L/22R were that it be moved north by 3,316 feet, and would have required the cutting down of 800 trees in Idlewild Park, in Queens. Atlantic Beach TVASNAC member Carl Baessler said trees are vital for noise abatement. “They serve as a noise buffer, especially during the summer months,” he said.
Resident concerns propelled the Port Authority to revise the plan so it does not involve the expansion of the threshold or the removal of any trees, but the proposed expansion of the runway’s length by 728 feet and its width by 50 feet remains. To the north of the airport, which has a total of four runways running parallel, there would also be no change in the altitude of planes arriving on Runway 22R or departures from Runway 4L. The runway would also use concrete pavement instead of asphalt. Concrete is expected to last between 30 to 40 years. Asphalt’s life expectancy is 12 years.
“I don’t think the additional [runway] length will make much of a difference because there will still be a lot of [aircraft] traffic,” Baessler said. “Once the runway expansion is finished there will be a lot more noise and the community’s that will be affected are going to be very upset and I don’t blame them.”