STATEMENT OF CONGRESSWOMAN CAROLYN B. MALONEY IN SUPPORT OF IMMEDIATE POLLUTION REDUCTION INITIATIVES & CONGESTION RELIEF AT LA GUARDIA AIRPORT
NEW YORK - Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Queens, Manhattan) expressed strong support for federal legislation aimed at reducing congestion at LaGuardia airport as well as initiatives to reduce air and noise pollution caused by air traffic at LaGuardia. Maloney, a vocal opponent of efforts to expand the number of take-offs and landings at LaGuardia, released the following statement today:
"Efforts to cram more and more flights into LaGuardia airport present a real and immediate danger. The FAA recommends no more than 75 flights per hour at LaGuardia, but according to air traffic controllers, the airport has crammed in more than 96 flights per hour. With new flight increases scheduled for coming months, air traffic at LaGuardia will be up thirty percent in just one year. That's an additional 300 flights a day. The massive congestion at LaGuardia is intolerable for those who live in the area, it's unsafe for those in the sky, and it's unacceptable to me and my colleagues in the New York delegation to Congress.
"LaGuardia airport is the most congested in the nation with the longest delays and some of the worst air and noise pollution. Inaction in the face of LaGuardia's massive congestion is simply unsafe and irresponsible. I strongly support the "Airport Congestion Relief Act" (HR 757) to provide a full-year extension of the FAA policy that currently limits flights at LaGuardia through a mandatory lottery selection system. The FAA lottery keeps air traffic within safety guidelines and , limits some of the worst flight delays in the nation.
"While the lottery limits are in place, the FAA should establish a clear, long-term management plan for LaGuardia that works within the airport's operational capacity, preventing gridlock, and reducing the chance of a catastrophe for those in the air and on the ground. Imagine living near this airport and suffering the air and noise pollution from increased take-offs and landings, then from the constant circling of planes overhead due to increased traffic and delays, and then, to top it all off, living in constant fear because of the increased likelihood that an accident will occur in your neighborhood. Massive congestion at LaGuardia is unsafe, environmentally unsound, and irresponsible. That's why we need a long-term plan for a safer LaGuardia and a safer Queens."