2002-09-14 / Community

Weiner: Errant Concorde Existed

By Howard Schwach

By Howard Schwach

The usual reaction from the Port Authority (the agency that runs JFK Airport) and from the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) to reports that a plane has been flying low, slow and loud over Rockaway is that the residents must be seeing things.

That was the case in July, when dozens of residents reported to The Wave that a Concorde jetliner had buzzed Rockaway.

At the time, the two airlines flying the Concorde issued disclaimers. British Airways said that it had no Concorde’s flying that morning, while Air France reported that it did have a Concorde in the air, but that the pilot had reported "no unusual circumstances" on that flight.

A recent report says, however, that the Port Authority has determined that the Air France Concorde Jet that shook up Belle Harbor in July was traveling on an abnormal flight path, and has launched an investigation to figure out why.  The inquiry comes as the result of questions raised by Rep. Anthony Weiner, who is the author of legislation that would ban the Concorde entirely from American airports. 

 On the morning of Sunday, July 21, a Concorde jet departing from JFK International Airport flew across the Rockaway Peninsula, waking many Belle Harbor residents, and setting off numerous car alarms.  According to eyewitnesses, the jet struggled across the peninsula at a dangerously low altitude.

Shortly thereafter, Rep. Weiner, a frequent critic of the Concorde, called for a full investigation of the flight. 

  Today, Rep. Weiner announced that the Concorde's flight path carried it further west over Belle Harbor than is the norm, and that the Port Authority is investigating the causes.  In addition, the FAA has confirmed that the jet departed at a slower rate of ascent than is typical for the Concorde, Weiner announced.

"The July 21 Concorde departure traveled slightly further west over Belle Harbor that a typical Concorde departure," The PA said in its latter to Weiner. "We are investigating whether this difference is related to weather or to other conditions that can influence aircraft flight paths."

  The Port Authority has also pledged to work with Rep. Weiner to place portable noise monitors on the Rockaway peninsula to better track future disruptive flights, and to hold those responsible accountable.

  "No one has suffered worse from airplane noise than the long-suffering residents of Belle Harbor," said Rep. Weiner.  "And when it comes to airplane noise, nothing's worse than the Concorde."

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