Yesterday, the NY Post reported that the FAA redrew the boundaries of Laguardia Airport's "safety zone" to allow for a huge trash facility. And since birds love trash, there are concerns that it'll become bird strike central, a la Flight 1549 (more fodder for the Post's war on birds). Which is why Flight 1549 hero Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger has waded into the debate. And he thinks this is "terrible."
Sullenberger said on CBS's The Early Show, "One of the things we've learned is that one of the few ways to mitigate the bird problem is to not put anything near an airport runway that's likely to attract birds. And so putting a trash facility this close to one of the busiest runways in the nation just doesn't make sense. It's really a terrible idea. It should be put much farther away." And former deputy mayor Randy Mastro, who is representing those opposed to the trash facility (they are asking a federal appeals court to stop construction), says planes will be flying over the facility, "Locating a city garbage transfer station that will attract birds on the end of an airport runway is a monumentally stupid idea."
The FAA denies that the safety zone was shortened and Mayor Bloomberg defended the North Shore Marine Transfer facility, "The building has been fully vetted by the FAA," Bloomberg said. "It is a totally contained location or building with low air pressure to keep air from getting out. And nobody thinks it's going to attract geese."
Still, Sullenberger is unhappy, "It's also located right on the water. Even an enclosed facility is going to attract birds. And so, by choosing to put this kind of facility so close, and they're relying on essentially Band-Aid kind of mitigations that we're hoping will be perfect --, you know, the real world is messier than that. There will be some trash that we spill that may not clean up right away. Birds are smart, and they'll learn there's a source of food there."