Ackerman, Crowley Legislation Calling on FAA to Follow Its Own Rules for Proposed Trash Station Near LaGuardia Airport Passed by House of Representatives

May 22, 2009 Issues:

For more than two years, Ackerman and Crowley have expressed concerns over the increased threat of bird strikes that the garbage at facility may bring to planes landing and taking off from LaGuardia. These concerns were heightened last January after U.S. Airways flight 1549 crash landed into the Hudson River due to birds striking its engines.
Under the legislation, the FAA’s safety guidelines would be applied to the proposed transfer station. These include the agency’s protocols on placing trash facilities near runways, protecting the flying public and communities surrounding airports and preserving future runway upgrades that can expand safety areas.

The legislation was approved as an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act, which funds the FAA for fiscal year 2010. The Ackerman/Crowley measure passed unanimously by voice vote. The full bill now heads to the U.S. Senate.
“This amendment is about public safety trumping garbage,” said Ackerman. “Of all of the shorelines that surround all of the boroughs, why would the Sanitation Department pick the one spot for this facility that is directly opposite one of the busiest runways in the nation? It makes no sense. The smart and reasonable policies that the FAA has implemented with respect to trash stations must be applied to this facility.”

"A 100-foot garbage tower at the end of a LaGuardia runway is an invitation for disaster," said Congressman Crowley. "Not even four months after the miraculous landing of Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, the FAA has failed to recognize the very real threat bird strikes continue to pose at LaGuardia airport by allowing this project to move forward. Increased trash around our airport means an increased bird population and that means an increased risk of another bird strike. Rep. Ackerman and I recognize what is at stake if this project moves forward and we will continue to fight for the safety of our constituents and the millions of travelers at LaGuardia Airport each year."
Under current plans, the $125 million proposed trash facility would handle nearly 3000 tons of garbage per day.