Nassau County

JFK Airport Runway Renovation Will Divert Planes Over Long Island Homes, and Residents Are Protesting

What to Know

  • Homeowners in some Nassau County communities aren't thrilled that the JFK Airport runway renovation will divert planes over their houses
  • The unhappy residents say the noise and interruptions will be unbearable
  • The $355 million renovation will convert Runway 13L-31R from asphalt to concrete, and is slated to begin next April

As the Port Authority prepares to renovate a JFK Aiport runway that handles nearly half of all arriving planes, residents in some Nassau County communities are getting concerned over the noise the diverted planes will bring over their homes. 

Valley Stream resident Mark Daley says right now, planes from JFK are diverted over his home only in bad weather, but when they come, he feels it.

"Just a shake, rattle and roll," he said. "The windows will be shaking and you can hear the noise." 

That noise will become more commonplace starting next April, when the $355 million renovation on Runway 13L-31R begins, converting it from asphalt to concrete. The Port Authority says it will reduce delays and save time for passengers. 

But that's no comfort for residents fighting plane noise.  

"I'm not thrilled by the news that there will be more noise and interruption," said Patricia Gauthier of Rosedale. 

One group of residents wrote in a letter to federal lawmakers last month, "Living in our homes has become wretched and abysmal... They are unbearable and uninhabitable." 

But noise of all kinds is a fact of life in Nassau, and some residents were resigned to more of it from above.

"They got to go somewhere, or else they'd leave the runways to rot, and that could cause problems there," said Jim McManus.

"I guess our windows will be rattling a lot more, with a lot more noise overhead," said Daley. 

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