The only thing louder than the roar of overhead planes may be Park Slope residents' (justified) grumbling about them. But things aren't any better over in Woodside, Queens, as one resident succinctly illustrated with the above photo.
No, these hulking jetliners are not flying simultaneously, but Paul Ker snapped images of each plane landing at LaGuardia one recent afternoon between 1 and 2 p.m.—amounting to one plane roughly every minute and a half. "It gets quite loud when we're out on our terrace, but not nearly as loud as when they take off in this direction," Ker tells us. "THAT gets really bad."
A few years ago, the Federal Aviation Administration implemented something called NextGen, a National Airspace System that allows planes to fly closer together at low altitudes, reducing gridlock on tarmacs and in the sky. The new system was also supposed to reduce noise, particularly in densely populated areas, but as Jeffrey Starin, President of Prospect Park Quiet Skies, told us last week, that hasn't been the case.
"If [the FAA] wanted to, they could use Nextgen technology to reroute planes over the river," he said. "Instead, they're just overlaying flight tracks on old existing flight tracks, but increasing the number of airplanes. They've lowered the altitude and increased the number of flights."
But altered flight patterns would do precious little to preserve the eardrums of Queens residents—Woodside is just three miles away from LaGuardia, so unless the neighborhood erects some sort of sound proof dome (why not!), everyone will just have to harness their inner Alvy Singers and continue to cope.