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Fewer Noise Complaints Spurs Drive for More Complaints

May 20, 2010 — A neighborhood association in Greenwich, Connecticut, is imploring its members to keep making noise complaints about Westchester County Airport, which borders the community in the northern suburbs of New York City. John Lucarelli of the Round Hill Association, representing 1,100 homes within five miles of the airport, told Greenwich Time that noise complaints are down by over 600 from March the previous year. In April the noise complaints decreased by almost 800.

Lucarelli says that low-flying aircraft and the pilots ignoring the voluntary overnight curfew continue to be a problem. “We definitely need to keep making calls,” Lucarelli said this week during the group’s annual meeting.

Westchester County Airport (HPN) has an active mix of airline, corporate, rotorcraft, and private aircraft including several flight schools. 44 percent of the complaints in March involved helicopters and transient corporate aircraft. John Inserra, HPN’s noise abatement officer, says his office dutifully records each complaint and often shares them with operators when the aircraft causing the noise can be identified. Chronic complainers, however, tend to skew the statistics.

For example, a single household in Valhalla, New York, accounted for 363 of the 471 complaints in April and 275 of the 300 complaints in March this year, according to Inserra. The previous year the same household accounted for similar a number of calls.

Lucarelli, said the neighborhood association doesn’t want to be adversarial and wants to work with the airport to deal with the issue. “We are starting to usher in a new era of public and private partnership with the community and the airport,” he said.

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