The Port Authority Board of Commissioners has authorized $35 million to provide quieter classrooms in 10 schools in New York and New Jersey as part of a continuing program spanning nearly a quarter of a century to soundproof all schools affected by aircraft noise near the Port Authority’s aviation facilities.
Funding was approved for six schools in New York and four in New Jersey. (A list of the schools appears at the end of this press release.) All 10 of the schools that received funding already have soundproofing programs under way as a result of previous authorizations under the program. Seventy-seven schools have been part of the program since it started in 1983; soundproofing for 48 schools has been completed, and 29 schools are in various stages of design or construction. Total investment in the program is nearly $400 million.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Reducing the impact of noise on those schools most directly affected is just one of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to be good neighbors to residents of the communities we serve. We’re grateful for the continued support of our congressional delegations that every year help ensure federal funding exists to back this program.”
Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, “Twenty-four years ago, the Port Authority said it would make sure that students in schools affected by aircraft noise would be provided with a quiet learning environment. Including this authorization, we’ve invested $391.3 million to make good on our commitment, with tens of thousands of schoolchildren in New York and New Jersey as the beneficiaries.”
All schools in federally defined “noise-affected areas” around Port Authority airports are being soundproofed. The program will continue beyond these areas as long as there continues to be federal funding available, with the agency determining future eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
The soundproofing program is a joint effort of the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration, which typically contributes 80 percent of the funding under its Airport Improvement Program. The Port Authority administers the program and provides the balance of the funding.
In order for a school to be eligible for the program, it must meet federal criteria established by the FAA that measure outdoor and indoor noise levels. Schools must apply to the Port Authority to be eligible for the program.
The Port Authority has been recognized for decades as a leader in the aviation industry in reducing aircraft noise. The agency was one of the first and most persistent airport operators in the nation to successfully lobby the federal government to require quieter “Stage 3” aircraft for all commercial flights. The Port Authority Board of Commissioners also banned the use of “Stage 1” general aviation aircraft — the oldest and loudest planes — at Teterboro Airport. The agency also has organized an industry-led prohibition on “Stage 2” aircraft at Teterboro, and is exploring ways to further reduce noise at Teterboro.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.
|New York Schools||2007 Allocation||Prior Allocations|
|Beach Channel H.S., Rockaway Park||$13,050,000||$27,851,320|
|I.S. 180Q, Rockaway Park||$3,200,000||$15,857,567|
|Lawrence #2, Inwood||$100,000||$9,344,455|
|St. Athanasius, Bronx||$100,000||$4,912,360|
|St. Pius V, Bronx||$350,000||$2,143,005|
|Vaughn College, Flushing||$100,000||$15,692,041|
|New Jersey Schools||2007 Allocation||Prior Allocations|
|H.P. Becton H.S., Carlstadt-E. Rutherford||$100,000||$15,756,430|
|Kearny H.S., Kearny||$15,700,000||$24,029,921|
|Lincoln Elementary, Kearny||$2,000,000||$13,471,3525|