Mar 15, 2000
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D- Queens, Manhattan) announced that she and her colleagues in the Queens delegation, Reps. Ackerman, Crowley, Weiner, and Meeks, were successful in extending the High Density Rule (HDR), which limits the number of airplanes taking-off and landing at LaGuardia and Kennedy Airports. The measure, part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Authorization bill, H.R. 1000, passed today in the House, 318- 102.

"It's not everyday that a few legislators from Queens are able to take on the top honchos in the House - but we did this time!" Maloney said. "Ask anybody living or working in Queens if they would like to hear more 747's flying overhead, or have their kids breath in more airplane polluted air - and you'll hear the same answer every time: no way. My colleagues and I who represent the residents of New York City went to the mat to protect our constituents from pollution, safety risks, and an increase in the already incessant noise of planes landing or taking off from JFK and LaGuardia at all hours of the day. Today's final passage of the FAA bill marks a big win the residents of Queens and Manhattan."


Growing research and the experience of populations in heavily airplane-impacted localities strongly indicate that increased numbers of flights (slots) for major jets will escalate the amount of pollution, safety concerns, congestion, and noise for residents of the Queens and Manhattan boroughs.

When the language for the FAA spending bill was being developed in early 1999, Rep. Maloney and her colleagues from Queens asked that the High Density Rule NOT be lifted for New York's Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. The delegation succeeded in the first hurdle of including this provision in the initial House version of the FAA bill. This initial FAA spending bill passed in the House on June 15, 1999 and then in the Senate on October 5, 1999. After the bill passed in both the House and Senate, the final version of the bill was negotiated in a Conference for five months.

Maloney, and the Queens, delegation worked hard during the five months of negotiating to ensure that this important issue to the residents of Queens and New York would be included in the final FAA spending bill. The delegation was victorious. The final language represented a win-win scenario for New York. According to the language, certain smaller, regional jets flying in and out of JFK and LaGuardia to non-hub areas of upstate New York will be exempted from the High Density Rule, after the final passage of this bill. For all other jets, the High Density Rule will be maintained for flights in and out of JFK and LaGuardia until July 1, 2007.

On March 5, 2000, the Senate passed the final FAA spending bill, 82-17. Today, March 15, 2000, the House passed the final FAA spending bill, 318-102. The measure no only requires the signature of President Clinton before being enacted into law.

The Maloney language included in H.R. 1000:

SEC. 747. NONMILITARY HELICOPTER NOISE. (a) In General.--The Secretary shall conduct a study--
(1) on the effects of nonmilitary helicopter noise on individuals in densely populated areas in the continental United States; and
(2) to develop recommendations for the reduction of the effects of nonmilitary helicopter noise.
(b) Focus.--In conducting the study, the Secretary shall focus on air traffic control procedures to address helicopter noise problems and shall take into account the needs of law enforcement. (c) Consideration of Views.--In conducting the study, the Secretary shall consider the views of representatives of the helicopter industry and organizations with an interest in reducing nonmilitary helicopter noise.
(d) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to Congress a report on the results of the study conducted under this section.