Press Releases

UPDATE: Feb 6 2009 8:00 AM EST

Rockefeller Amendment 182 did not reach floor for vote. Check Senate Schedule today for updates at

Feb 4, 2009 11:02PM

Aviation lobbyists were successful in getting a handful of senators to include funding for the Airspace Redesign in the Economic Stimulus Package. It also accelerates the implementation of the Redesign. We are waiting for changes to be made on Rockefeller Amendment 182 which is included in the massive package of amendments called Senate Amt. 98. Rockefeller amendment was not debated or voted on seperately.

Senator Dodd's office has been very helpful in reaching out to other senators to make this change. We applaud his efforts to support environmental law and due process in his efforts.

The problem with the Rockefeller Amendment is that it hides the funding for this failed and flawed project while combining it with a very useful project which deservs funding. That is Next Gen Technology. We are wholly supportive of funding for Next Gen Technology. We are not however supportive of funding the Routes and Procedures associated with perfomance based navigation because these essentials are Airspace Redesign, which is in litigation and is being unlawfully implemented.

Environmental protection organizations like Our Airspace are requesting only to amend this proposed legislation to say "excluding any Routing changes or Procedures associated with the Airspace Redesign."

We have notified Senator Schumer, Senator Lautenberg and Senator Rockefeller of the changes we are requesting to this Amendment. We await their response. They are aware that their support of this measure as written will undermine all of the efforts we have made to protect our communities and stand up for environmental law.

Click here to email your Senators about this issue.

Too Many Flaws in Airspace Redesign
To the Editor of the New York Times: Published: September 30, 2007

“What’s That in the Sky? A Plane?,” by Kate Stone Lombardi (column, Sept. 23), led readers to believe that our opposition to the Federal Aviation Administration’s airspace redesign is about protecting our own backyard.
This notion is potentially dangerous to the 29 million people who stand to be affected across five states. The consequences of implementing a flawed plan of this scope will have far-reaching negative effects both economically and environmentally.
The risks and flaws of this design are on public record. Concerns over its safety and effectiveness warrant further study by the inspector general, and lawsuits are filed in all affected states.
The plan reduces safe distance between planes when near-misses are critically high. Low-altitude landing approach over populated areas carries fuel jettison risk.
Many affected communities are not aware of this plan. The F.A.A. has apparently been conducting test runs over our area for two months. This provides a unique opportunity to see and consider the actual effects.
We conducted research and met with elected officials, industry experts, environmental directors, pilots, airport managers and aviation subcommittees. What we found was alarming. includes links to these scientific studies, background, legislation and further research.

Air Traffic Controllers - Airspace Redesign is Dangerous

"What the FAA's plan seems to be doing is pumping more airplanes into the air faster, without having more controllers responsible for those aircraft, which could lead to a degradation of safety," New York union representative Dean Iacopelli said.

Rather than just adjusting flight patterns to allow more aircraft to take off more quickly in the Northeast, changes need to be made throughout the country to ensure that once planes leave this region, other air traffic control facilities will be able to accept them, controllers said.

New York union representative Julio Henriques likened it to a four-lane highway that narrows to one lane. If you only change one end of the flow, he said, it won't matter, "because it's going to back up all the way. It's a Band-Aid on the delay issue, and unfortunately I don't think it's going to work," he said.


Apr 21, 2008

New York- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) refuses to release public information on aircraft overflight. Historical data on overflight is used to create noise contours of communities. Noise contours help local governments understand normal traffic flows and gauge quantitative impact of airspace design changes.

Withholding this information allows the The FAA effectivly ignor due process and environmental law and hide airspace design changes from impacted communities. With benchmarked data on current air traffic, the FAA will be forced into following due process and environmental law. Aircarriers will be held accountable for introducing air and noise pollution to communities and more likly to engage in noise mitigation measures.

"Historical data on overflight was promised to us in a face to face meeting with the FAA in November of 2007," says Heather Wolf, director of an advocacy group based in New York.

"We specifically requested 2 years of data on overflight. A Month overdue, the FAA delivered us a short illustrated Power Point presentation containing a handpicked selection of days." said Wolf. "This is absolutely not acceptable. "

"Our community is very concerned about recent low altitude overflight. We need a baseline, a noise contour for our community," said Wolf. "This is public information which they outright refuse to give to us."

"The FAA clearly wants to keep communities in the dark when it comes to aircraft utilizing our airspace. The largest airspace redesign in 60 years is underway and the FAA refuses to show how we will be impacted. By withholding previous overflight data, the FAA seeks to keep us in the dark, further violating due process. "

We call on the GAO to deliver us this data on overflight. We seek transparency in government.

Here is the actual technical request the FAA refuses to deliver on. Communities need this data to get baselines.:

Request for  raw data on low altitude overflight for your community for LAG Arrivals, and HPN arrivals and Departures delivered as .XLS Comma or tab-delimited file format:

    • Technical instructions:
      Select Departure Airport, Arrival Airport, Time, Date, Tail Number, Minimum Altitude
      From Datawarehouse
      Where the Overflight Area is {Your Community}
      and Where the Altitude is Less than 3000 feet
      and where dates are between (June 2005 and present)

      This will produce a report full of data detailing low altitude flight over pound ridge. This will be our baseline.

Congressman John Hall (D) structured the meeting with the Town of Pound Ridge and the FAA to discuss the recent changes to flight paths and altitudes in October of 2007. The FAA flatly denied that any changes occured which was in strict opposition to public testimony and data on overflight gathered through public Flight tracking systems.

In a letter circulated to residents this week, Congressman Hall writes "I share your frustration at the continued lack of responsiveness from FAA, and I assure you that I will continue pushing FAA officials until they fully understand the aircraft noise problem you face, and agree to hold a long-overdue public meeting."



News from
Congressman Eliot Engel

Representing the Bronx, Westchester, and Rockland Counties
Offices in the Bronx, Mount Vernon and West Nyack
2161 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515
Contact: Joseph O’Brien 718 796-9700,

For release: Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007  

           Congressman Eliot Engel Thursday blasted the Federal Aviation Administration for using deceitful numbers in reporting the number of people who objected to their airspace redesign plans for the northeast corridor.
            Rep. Engel said, “The FAA reported that five comments were received about their airspace redesign plan from Rockland residents, a number that is disingenuous at best and outright lying at worst. The ‘five’ comments included the more than 1,000 people who attend a Town Hall meeting I sponsored in August in Rockland as one comment.
            “Not one person of the scores who addressed the FAA at that meeting spoke in favor of the FAA plan, not one. In addition some 59 others signed statements objecting to the overflight plan.
            “This is part of an apparent pattern of deceit by the FAA. Earlier it spoke of the average noise level of the lower flying jets as acceptable. Only upon questioning was it made clear that the average included hours when planes were not flying. We still don’t know what the noise level of an individual plane is, so we have no idea of what people will be subjected to each day.”
            The FAA said it also counted the multiple comments submitted by the law firm of Holland and Knight and Rockland County as one comment.   
            Rep. Engel noted that the Town Hall meeting had more people waiting to speak when time constraints ended the meeting. “It is unconscionable that a federal agency feels it has to mislead people this way. I don’t know who they were trying to fool, but it certainly wasn’t the people in Rockland who for months have been fighting the FAA plan.
            “I demand an apology from the FAA for my Rockland constituents. Not only has the FAA imposed a plan on them to wreck the quality of their lives, but now it diminishes their voice, dismissing it as ‘only five comments.’
            “Shame on them.”

NJCAAN Statement SEPT 9 2007

Airspace Redesign Increases Airport Capacity
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) states that the Airspace Redesign does not increase airport capacity.  However, the agency repeatedly states the exact OPPOSITE in promotional and aviation industry documents.  (See below for sections of a selection of a couple of these documents.)  
We believe that the FAA does not wish to illustrate this issue because the Airspace Redesign plan WILL increase area aircraft noise and emissions.  The New Jersey Coalition Against Aircraft Noise (NJCAAN) believes that the agency rigs its analysis of the projects impacts in order to EXCLUDE appropriate emissions and aircraft noise mitigation measures that would be required to expand airport capacity.  The agency also structures its analysis in other environmental reports in a similar manner, which leaves the public vulnerable to “significant” environmental impacts generated by the aviation industry.  We believe that the US Congress should mandate an investigation into this egregious agency behavior.  
Robert Belzer
President, NJCAAN