2001-11-24 / Letters

Who’s Sorry Now

Who’s Sorry Now

Dear Editor;

I reside on Beach 148th Street in Neponsit and I am a member of the Neponsit Property Owners Association. I have lived in this community for the past 17 years.

Approximately three years ago our Congressional Representative, Anthony Weiner, attended one of our Association meetings to address our concerns. During the course of the meeting, the issue of noise caused by jets flying into and out of Kennedy Airport at all hours of the day and night was raised. A more specific complaint related to the extremely excessive noise level generated by the Concord on its takeoff roll. 

Representative Weiner went to elaborate lengths to first explain that ALL planes flying out of Kennedy were required to fly around Rockaway Point. The second issue addressed by Weiner was the effort he was making to get the Concord, a jet
he described as technologically obsolete, banned from landing in the United States.

At this point I stated to Weiner that his efforts to ban the Concord, while
worthy in nature, did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to address our day-to-day concerns. I told him that none of the planes flying out of Kennedy Airport fly around Rockaway Point; all of them, including the Concord, cut across the Rockaway peninsula and over our homes. If he didn't believe me, I suggested that he sit in my front yard with a scorecard. I went on to state that he might make better use of his time by working with the FAA and doing whatever was necessary to get the airlines to fly their planes around Rockaway Point and not over our houses.

It is now three years later and, after an 18-month hiatus, which had nothing to do with the efforts of Representative Weiner, the Concord continues to fly, and it continues to fly over our houses. And, of course, all the other planes flying out of Kennedy Airport continue to fly over our houses, and not around Rockaway Point.

Now we have the specter of the American Airlines Flight 587 crash into Belle Harbor. This tragedy, whether it was the result of a catastrophic failure or a terrorist act, is horrible in and of itself. However, the fact remains that this plane should not have crashed into Belle Harbor.

If, as Weiner claimed three years ago, planes flying out of Kennedy Airport are supposed to fly around Rockaway Point, then American Airlines Flight 587 should have come down over water. It is a shame that our do nothing politicians cannot
get anything of importance resolved for our community. 

The Concord flies over our homes twice a day setting off car and house alarms and rattling window panes and glass ware. We have a Doppler radar unit in our backyard at Floyd Bennett Field, a unit that is properly suited to central Nassau County. We have planes flying out of Kennedy and over our community at all hours. 

Finally, we have one of these planes crash into our neighborhood, inflicting death and destruction on a community still reeling from the World Trade Center disaster, and we continue to re-elect our do nothing politicians.

What is it going to take to get the FAA to pay attention to this problem and to issue fines to the airlines that illegally cut across the peninsula? How many more crashes into our neighborhood? They act as if one crash every so often is perfectly acceptable. We should go about living our lives as if nothing happened.  Can we file class action litigation against the airlines...especially British Air and Air France, the owners of the Concord?

While American Airlines may attempt to invoke Warsaw Convention rules limiting financial liability for those killed on Flight 587, those killed and injured on the ground should be able to sue for unlimited damages. Perhaps that will get the attention of the airlines. There aren't enough of us to conduct an effective boycott of airlines on a rotational basis. 

Perhaps there is absolutely nothing we can do as a community to alter the behavior of the airlines. Perhaps we have to live with the continuous thought that any loud plane is heading for our house at any given time. However, one thing we can do, as a community, is vote out of office incumbent politicians who take us for granted at election time, disappear between elections, and "BS" us the rest of the time.

ERROL J. TAMBURINELLI


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