2002-08-10 / Editorial/Opinion

More Noise Monitors: So What?

More Noise Monitors: So What?

A British Airways Concorde came so low over Rockaway at 8:15 a.m. on July 21 that many west end residents scrambled not only their eggs, but their sensibilities. Some reported that the low-flying SST set off their car alarms, others that the plane awaked them, which obviously was not following any flight path allowed by the FAA. Many reported to The Wave that they thought it was a replay of flight 587. Congressman Anthony Weiner wrote to the Port Authority, the agency that runs the airport, to express concern that the plane might have evaded flight rules. Weiner also wrote the FAA, asking that agency to investigate. We had already asked the FAA to do that as well. The FAA never responded to The Wave. It did respond to Weiner, stating that the flight "was not a safety issue," and therefore not within the purview of the FAA. A spokesperson for British Airways says that none of its planes took off at that time. A spokesperson for Air France, the other airline that operates the Concorde, says that "there were no reports of anything out of the ordinary with any of their aircraft" on that day. The Port Authority’s response is to offer Weiner more portable noise monitors. We have been told over and over again by the FAA that the Concorde must fly over Rockaway due to fuel consumption and safety issues. We know the aircraft is noisy. We know that it pollutes. We know that it is unsafe. What will more noise monitors do for Rockaway? They will tell residents what we already know, that too many planes fly over the peninsula, often too low. Rather, Weiner should be working with the FAA to find a way to decertify the Concorde so that it will no longer be welcome at New York City airports. We know the danger of that move, that the British and the French might then decertify an American airliner and keep it away from their airports. That is a risk worth taking. The Concorde is a plane whose time has passed. It is now time for it to be gone from out airports.

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