2002-03-09 / Front Page

Weiner: New Flight Paths Being Utilized

By Howard Schwach

By Howard Schwach

Congressman Anthony Weiner, who has been working with the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) to reduce the number of flights over the Rockaway peninsula, says that his plan is working, that a larger percentage of the flights that have overflown Rockaway in the past now take either the "Breezy Track" or the "Riis Track."

The Breezy Track takes flights from JFK’s Runway 31L out over the bay and through the slot formed by Breezy Point and Coney Island.

The Riis Track turns the planes southward earlier, taking the planes out over uninhabited Riis Park.

In a letter to Tim Tubridy, the president of the Broad Channel Civic Association, Weiner said, "…The new routing change on Runway 31 that has already been implemented has resulted in a dramatic reduction of overflights. In fact, on one typical night – Sunday the 24th (of February) from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m.—70 % of all flights took either the Breezy Track or the Riis Track."

Weiner does admit, however, that the flight path change does not alleviate all of the problems that Rockaway and Broad Channel have with overflights.

"….An unfortunate fact of life, even with the changes we have made to departures from Runway 31, flights taking off to the southwest or landing on Runway 4 will still pass over our homes," he says. "Simply put, according to the FAA, there is no way to avoid those flights."

The FAA has reported that during the weekend of February 23 and 24, Runway 3/31 – which runs southeast and northwest – was out of service for repairs. This is the runway that is used most often for takeoffs from JFK due to prevailing wind conditions.

Weiner says that he is still working for caps on flights out of JFK and towards banning the Concorde from the airport altogether.

"The number of flights that are going elsewhere will only increase," he promised. "We will make a great community an even better place to live."

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