Wed, Aug 17, 2011
Lawsuit Filed Citing Potential For Bird Strikes If The Facility
A group calling its self "Friends of LaGuardia Airport" has
filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to halt construction of a
garbage transfer facility being built 2,200 from the end of the
airport's runway 31.
FAA regulations require that any such facility be built at least
2,500 feet from the end of most runways, but allows them within
1,700 feet of a runway that has limited use in IFR conditions. The
FAA says runway 31 at KLGA falls into that category.
The garbage facility would reportedly be a "state of the art"
transfer station that is largely sealed, and would attract few
birds, New York officials say. The Associated Press reports that
Mayor Michael Bloomberg indicates that those against the transfer
station "don't know the facts" and are only trying to scare the
public. He said the station "will absolutely not increase the risk
of bird strikes."
The safety zone for runway 31 was reduced to 1,700 feet after a
study showed that an instrument landing system was not feasible for
the approach. That change allowed the permitting of the garbage
transfer facility within the former 2,200 foot exclusion zone. The
FAA said in a written statement that the Runway Protection Zone was
not modified to allow for the construction of the facility, as was
hinted at in a report in the New York Post.
The lawsuit was filed by the Friends of LaGuardia Airport in
June. Attorney Randy Mastro, who represents the group, said
locating the transfer station that close to the runway is
"colossally stupid." A bird strike famously brought down US Airways
Flight 1549 in January, 2009.
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