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The Record, Thursday, July 13, 2000

Rothman asks FAA chief
for Teterboro noise relief

By Doug Most, Staff Writer,

Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn, got the ear of the nation’s top aviation official for one hour Wednesday, and he used it to plead for relief from noisy planes flying into Teterboro Airport.

Jane F. Garvey, administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration, said after the meeting that she would look into Rothman’s request to reduce Teterboro noise.

The complaints have become angrier since the crash of a small plane near the airport in December 1999. A Virginia pilot apparently lost his way en route to Teterboro in crowded skies and crashed into a Hasbrouck Heights back yard. All four people on board were killed.

The crash prompted scores of complaints about the safety of Teterboro and how crowded the airport and the airspace above it have become. Rothman said he touched on three main issues with Garvey, mostly related to Teterboro, but also involving Newark International Airport:

• He voiced frustration about how may of the general aviation aircraft flying into and out of Teterboro have the noisier Stage 1 and Stage 2 engines, and have not yet converted to the quieter Stage 3 engines required of the nation’s commercial airlines.

"While such aircraft account for only 15 percent of all aircraft using Teterboro, they account for 90 percent of the noise violations at the airport" Rothman said.

• As a short-term solution until more private planes at Teterboro have Stage 3 engines, Rothman asked that a curfew be imposed to eliminate late-night flights.

"Until we get them outfitted with Stage 3 engines, we want a curfew at Teterboro for all planes, and at the very least for older and noisier Stage 1 and 2 planes," Rothman said.

• He voiced support for live testing of ocean routing of planes out of Newark. Residents in some parts of North Jersey, in addition to dealing with Teterboro noise, must cope with jet noise from Newark aircraft.

"The noise out of these airports doesn’t just affect the towns around the airport, but towns four or five towns away," Rothman said.

He added that while he supports Teterboro Airport, and recognizes its importance to the region’s economy, he cannot ignore the constant complaints he receives from people about the noise levels from the airport.

"The purpose of that business activity [Teterboro Airport] is to improve the overall quality of life of the people who live in the region," he said.

Garvey agreed, and said one change that is already in the works may bring some relief.

"I understand the problems associated with the many aircraft that fly over northern New Jersey, and the FAA right now is undertaking a redesign of the airspace for the whole New York metropolitan area," Garvey said in a statement. "I intend to work with Congressman Rothman on aircraft noise, the airspace redesign, and in other ways we can improve quality of life for the people of New Jersey."

Those words pleased Rothman. "I wanted her commitment, and she gave her personal pledge to work with me and the Port Authority to address issues of air noise at Teterboro and surrounding airports." Rothman said.

As for a curfew, however, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages the airport, has said one is unlikely, although it will explore the issue.

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