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The Record, Local News Section, Tuesday, February 13, 2001

FAA may redirect Teterboro air traffic
Route could bypass high-rises, hospital

By Lisa Goodnight, Staff Writer

TETERBORO – The Federal Aviation Administration may come up with alternative ways for pilots to fly into Teterboro Airport, following complaints by legislators that the noise from one path "has disrupted the lives of thousands."

At the urging of Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn, and Sen. Robert G. Torricelli, D-N.J., the FAA will study different landing options for planes using ILS-19, the instrument that has been guiding pilots landing at Runway 19 in bad weather since July 1999. The ILS essentially provides an electronic glide path, both laterally and vertically, that allows the pilot to approach the runway safely.

Planes start on a straight-line approach for the runway from 5.9 miles to the north, around Oradell, and gradually descend, passing over Hackensack to roughly 1,500 feet. But along Prospect Avenue, which sits on a hill and where many of the buildings are between 15 and 20 stories, the clearance lessens by as much as 200 feet.

"When the FAA said this landing approach would not have a significant effect on our community, they were wrong…the approach has disrupted the lives of thousands of nearby residents, particularly patients at Hackensack University Medical Center and the people who live in nearby high-rise apartment buildings," Rothman said.

Torricelli said he was pleased the FAA considered the proposal that could "bring some measure of relief."

FAA spokesman Jim Peters said the agency could offset the approach to Runway 19 by moving air traffic to the east, away from the existing path.

"I don’t know how far," Peters said. "The exact path has not yet been developed."

The latest number available showed that roughly 20 percent of the airport’s traffic used that approach.

"If we can use a number of different approaches to [Runway] 19, that could help us disperse the noise because you’re bringing aircraft in on different paths," Peters said.

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