Lawmakers Call On FAA To Hold Hearings In South Jersey On Noise Pollution Concerns

Lawmakers Call On FAA To Hold Hearings In South Jersey On Noise Pollution Concerns

Menendez, Lautenberg, Andrews fight to give residents a greater voice in airspace redesign plan

Washington - U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) along with Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ), today issued a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) urging them to hold hearings in southern New Jersey on airspace redesign plans for the region.

In their letter, the legislators expressed concern that residents from South Jersey have been unable to sufficiently voice their opinions on the redesign proposal which could have a large impact on their quality of life. Meetings have previously been held in North Jersey, too far for many in the southern region of the state to attend, and in Philadelphia, which was so heavily attended that several hundred people had to be turned away. To date, no meetings have been held in the southern part of the state.

Residents in South Jersey who will be impacted by the redesign plan are especially concerned over increased noise from a higher level of air traffic and the impact on their quality of life and property value. On March 23, the senators wrote a letter to the FAA expressing their concerns over the airspace redesign plans, specifically citing the impact it would have on Gloucester County (http://menendez.senate.gov/pdf/FAAairspaceredesign3-23-07.pdf). Last year the senators joined with members of the New Jersey house delegation in expressing their apprehensions about an FAA proposal and its statewide effects (http://menendez.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=257999).

To view this letter, visit http://menendez.senate.gov/pdf/FAAairspaceredesign5-4-07.pdf

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Full text of the letter appears below:

The Honorable Marion Blakey

Administrator

Federal Aviation Administration

800 Independence Ave., S.W.

Washington, DC 20591

Dear Administrator Blakey,

We write regarding the public meetings the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently held regarding its plans for New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia airspace redesign. These public meetings are designed to provide an opportunity for residents of communities affected by your agency's plan to learn details of the impact and have their questions answered. However, we think the meetings held thus far did not provide an adequate opportunity for those who will be affected by the FAA plan to learn of the impact and voice their concerns.

We learned with dismay that at the most recent meeting, which took place on May 1 in Essington, Pennsylvania, hundreds of area residents were not able to have their concerns heard. Given the overwhelming response in attendance it is clear that many are concerned about the FAA's plans. We believe the FAA should take into account the severe impact this proposal would have on many residents across the state. As the FAA has proposed, this airspace redesign plan could significantly alter the quality of life some 300,000 New Jerseyans, exposing them to increased noise and lowering their property values. Furthermore, the planned flight patterns would affect residents from very different parts of the State.

We are particularly displeased that our previous requests for an additional meeting have gone ignored. Before these meetings took place, we expressed our concerns to you that many New Jersey residents, specifically those in Gloucester County, would not have sufficient opportunity to participate in the public meeting process because of the insufficient effort FAA was making to accommodate them.

Given the extenuating circumstances of the meeting in Pennsylvania, we urge you to provide New Jerseyans another opportunity to hear from the FAA on these plans. For many New Jersey residents in the southern part of our State, the Pennsylvania meeting location was closer than the meeting held in Newark, New Jersey. Because of the direct impact the redesign would have on communities in southern New Jersey, we urge you find a location that is convenient for residents from this region.

We thank you for your immediate consideration of this matter. New Jerseyans should be given sufficient opportunity to learn about the impacts of the plan and provide their feedback. Until this occurs, the redesign should not move forward.

Sincerely,

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