Press Releases

As Airplane Noise Over Nassau County Hits Record High, Rep. Kathleen Rice leads letter to Governor Cuomo Requesting Changes to the New York Communities Aviation Roundtable

The changes would increase Nassau County’s representation on the committee

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Garden City, NY, June 3, 2019 | comments

GARDEN CITY, NY – U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-04) today sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo requesting that the Governor use his executive powers to amend the bylaws of the New York Communities Aviation Roundtable (NYCAR) to increase Nassau County’s representation, balance the voting power of each office, and reduce the overly-burdensome quorum standards. NYCAR is responsible for making recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on how to address the issue of airplane noise.

The letter was signed by Representative Tom Suozzi (NY-03), County Executive Laura Curran, Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Supervisor Laura Gillen, Senator Todd Kaminsky, Senator Anna Kaplan, Senator Kevin Thomas, Assemblyman Ed Ra and Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages.

Last week, Representatives Rice and Suozzi and County Executive Laura Curran met with FAA’s Eastern Regional Administrator Jennifer Solomon, National Air Traffic Controllers Association N90 President Kevin Maney and officials from the Port Authority to discuss the drastic increase in noise pollution over Nassau County since April 1st of this year. Representatives Rice and Suozzi requested that the altitudes of incoming flights to JFK International Airport be elevated once LaGuardia closes for the night at 11:30 PM, for flights to be more equitably distributed over Nassau County, and for the FAA and Port Authority to be more responsive to the general public’s complaints.

In their letter, the Nassau County officials write:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor of New York State

NYS State Capitol Building

Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo,

As voting members of the New York Communities Aviation Roundtable (NYCAR), we are requesting that you reform NYCAR Bylaws to address three pressing concerns. NYCAR, in its current form, lacks a fair distribution of voting power among its members, fails to include all communities affected by airplane noise, and is incapable of completing any meaningful business.

Since the creation of NYCAR, our offices have worked closely with partners in Nassau and Queens to address the issue of airplane noise and environmental pollution. When it came time to ratify the bylaws, many of us expressed our concerns about the group’s structure and the lack of representation from Nassau County. We write you today you to ask that you address these issues.

For example, NYCAR bylaws require 50 percent plus one of membership to be present at a meeting to make a quorum. Unfortunately, there has been such consistently low attendance at meetings that NYCAR and its committees rarely can reach a quorum. With no quorum present, important business is left unfinished, and the group is unable to make recommendations to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

In addition, Nassau County is severely underrepresented on NYCAR. While New York City Councilmembers and Queens Community Boards have thorough representation on NYCAR, Nassau County Legislators, Councilmembers from the Towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead, and the City of Long Beach are excluded. The Nassau County Executive is only afforded one voting representative on NYCAR, while the Queens Borough President is afforded four voting members.

For these reasons, the undersigned offices request that you take executive action to change the NYCAR bylaws in the following ways:

  1. Amend the Quorum rule: Reduce the burdensome 50 percent plus one quorum. This will allow the voting members to conduct business that has been neglected for two years.
  2. Add more voting members from Nassau County: Add Councilmembers from the Towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead, Nassau County Legislators, and representatives from the City of Long Beach. This will appropriately balance NYCAR between Nassau and Queens Counties.
  3. Balance the voting power of NYCAR members: Each office represented on NYCAR should be afforded one vote. This will ensure that all communities are represented equally.

We look forward to working with you to reform the NYCAR bylaws to ensure all communities affected by airplane noise receive equal representation. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.


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