2001-05-12 / Front Page

Port Authority Joins In Fight Against Concorde By Aaron Zeidman

Port Authority Joins In Fight Against Concorde By Aaron Zeidman

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has sided with residents and some local elected officials in the fight to ban further flights of the noisy, polluting Concorde Supersonic Transport (SST) to and from Kennedy Airport.

In a letter addressed to FAA Administrator Jane F. Garvey, Port Authority Aviation Director William DeCota stated "we are very concerned about the inordinate amount of noise the Concorde produces and its impact on our surrounding communities." DeCota also urged Garvey to "consider community concerns as you review the proposal for restoration of Concorde service."

The Port Authority has no jurisdiction to dictate what types of planes fly at JFK. The FAA or the airlines themselves are the only ones that can make that decision. So far, no response to the voiced concerns has been given. Councilman Al Stabile said "Maybe the FAA has a deaf ear towards our community because of the SST."

According to U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner, "British Airways and Air France intend to renew the service, and it will probably continue by the end of the summer if something is not done to stop it." On May 5, Weiner organized a demonstration against the Concorde in Times Square, beneath a model of the British Airways SST.

Concorde flights were suspended after the July 25 crash of Flight 4590 in Gonesse, France. All of the crew members, 109 passengers, and four people on the ground died in the crash. Air France suspended its Concorde flights immediately. Three weeks later, British airways followed suit.

Air France and British Airways both started running test flights in April to reassess the Concorde’s safety. Representative Weiner said "I’m not sure whether the Concorde should fly even if it is safe. There is an express exemption for the SST in noise reduction laws, and the Concorde is twice as loud as the original 747."

Weiner said that he is putting into legislation a "Silent Skies Act" that will reduce the noise for all flights by 25 percent. This would "close the loophole" that allows the Concorde to exceed the noise restrictions imposed on most other flights.

Before the Concorde’s suspension, there were three Concorde arrivals and three departures a day from Kennedy. About 150,000 travelers per year paid $10,000 round-trip for a trans-Atlantic flight.


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