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FAA To Change Altitudes Of Planes Over Long Island To Decrease Noise, But Residents Not Confident Bombardment Will Abate

NASSAU COUNTY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Relief is coming to Long Island neighborhoods that have long complained of incessant airplane noise.

The Federal Aviation Administration is changing approach procedures, CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported Tuesday.

Skies over Nassau County have been quiet for a while because of the coronavirus pandemic, but there is a fix in the works to quiet the skies when the bombardment returns.

The FAA has agreed to keep arriving flights at the highest possible altitude on approach -- 3,000 feet or higher until they are within 15 miles of the airport.

FLASHBACK: Lawmaker: New Agreement With FAA Requires Air Travel Over Long Island At Higher Altitudes To Cut Down On Noise

Congressman Tom Suozzi said it will help communities that have suffered even though they're nowhere near any airport.

"That's going to make a big difference because planes were coming in as low as 1,600, 1,800 feet and this is going to be a much less noisy situation for a lot of residents," Suozzi said.

It will mean higher approaches as well for communities within the 15 miles, like East Hills and Roslyn, which normally gets hit with a conga line of planes thanks to NextGen -- technology that saves time and fuel, but routes flights over narrower routes. In other words, over the same houses over and over.

Plane Sense 4 LI founder Jana Goldenberg said she is not optimistic about the FAA's fix.

"The communities that are impacted, this is not going to help them at all," Goldenberg said. Three thousand feet is still not high enough. We still hear at 3,000 feet. Your windows still shake at 3,000 feet."


Roslyn civic leader Steve Kirchman also has his doubts.

"I, frankly, can't understand why the airplanes aren't staying a little higher and going down to the ocean," Kirchman said.

"This is, hopefully, going to be one step of many in the future," Suozzi said.

The FAA said it looked at changes to approaches but rejected them because they would increase noise for other communities. Meanwhile, quieter planes are also coming, as fleets are upgraded, but that could be years away.

The FAA said in a statement it is reviewing approach operations at all area airports to possibly implement the same changes to reduce noise.

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