The mysterious increase in noise in Park Slope from airplanes en route to LaGuardia Airport has been solved — perhaps — and the din could die down as soon as next month, The Brooklyn Paper has learned.
There was a “Eureka” moment at a meeting last Thursday when a Port Authority official recalled that about two years ago — roughly the time of the noisy change — a landmark that guides pilots to the Queens hub was moved to Rikers Island, which may have drawn approaching planes slightly westward and over the heart of Park Slope.
Euphoria swept the room when it was revealed that the radio tower would be returned to its original location near the airport next month. But the excitement gave way to cautious optimism after other officials aired doubts that the tower could be the sole cause of residents’ auditory discomfort.
“We’ll have to check back in a month,” said Jim Williams, a Park Slope resident.
That said, the Port Authority, which runs the local airports, says things could get better for the residents, many of them between Eighth Avenue and Prospect Park West, who say they began to feel like they’re living on a tarmac two years ago.
“It’s our understanding that there could ultimately be some benefit” when the tower moves back, Pasquale Difulco, a PA spokesman, told The Brooklyn Paper.
But if the relocation doesn’t silence the roar, things are unlikely to improve in the Slope, which is in the path to the LaGuardia runway.
“That’s the way it is,” said Mark Ward, a system support manager from the FAA at the meeting organized by Community Board 6 and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D–Park Slope). “From our air-traffic perspective, we’re going to land the planes in the most efficient way possible.
“Park Slope is right in the final approach,” said Ward to the audience in the Berkeley Carroll School on Lincoln Place.
LaGuardia’s short runways have been in their present configurations for decades and the FAA has no other answers, besides the radio tower theory, to the problem that’s on the radar of many people in Park Slope.
“Oh absolutely, something has changed,” said Frank Fucio, a Park Slope resident. “When you look up in the sky, it’s not a bird, it’s not Superman, it’s a plane.”