Sen. Clinton urges FAA to host meetings regarding flight patterns over borough

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is calling on the Federal Aviation Administration to schedule meetings in the Staten Island area to address the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Airspace Redesign project, which would change flight patterns.

"Considering that this is the first major overhaul of area airspace in almost 50 years, the issue of noise mitigation by the proposed plan on Staten Island is very important, especially considering the fact that the proposed Ocean Routing flight plan would send a significant number of flights over parts of Staten Island from 10:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.," Mrs. Clinton (D-N.Y.) wrote.

Next month, the FAA is expected to announce its pick for the first redesign of the region's airspace, which is expected to reduce delays and improve reliability at airports in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia - among the nation's busiest, and notorious for some of the worst delays in the country.

The FAA's preferred alternative, Integrated Airspace, would reroute planes departing from Newark over the New Jersey Turnpike and other industrial areas, instead of the current left turn flights make over the North Shore of Staten Island. It is expected to shave off about eight minutes of delay per departure.

But among the concerns for residents below the friendly skies is the noise that will come from the changed flight routes.

The Ocean Routing Airspace proposal, which would send departing planes along the Arthur Kill and near the southern tip of the borough near Sandy Hook, only to turn and continue their ascents, has been widely considered a bad plan by New York elected officials, the Port Authority and the FAA itself.

But pressure from the well-connected New Jersey Citizens Against Air Noise has caused a limited version of this proposal to survive, much to the dismay of those who believe it should have been dismissed long ago.

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