Data & Analysis – To Empower those seeking Transparency, Accountability & FAA Reform.
[KLGA] – An Aerial View of Flushing While on the Whitestone Climb
[KLGA]: An Aerial View of Flushing While on the Whitestone Climb
This is a neat video, fun to watch and less than four-minutes long … you may want to play it again. Plus, it helps to illustrate the problems NextGen is creating in residential communities, such as 400-year-old Flushing, on the west end of Long Island.
The Whitestone Climb was created decades ago to abate noise on Runway 13 departures. Pilots turn right to a 180 heading, then begin a left turn to a 040 heading once they reach a distance of 2.5-miles (see the arc marked ‘LGA 2.5DME’). This routing minimizes overflight of residential lands.
It appears that in September 2012, a passenger recorded the view out a left window of their commercial flight, while taking off from LaGuardia and doing a Whitestone Climb. At about two minutes, the video has a splice; the final minute-plus appears to be video shot from a small personal airplane.
The views are nice, and the music really fits (at least from this writer’s narrow west coast perspective!). But the video also subtly points out that an important aspect of air travel is the show outside – the bonus aerial sightseeing tour that passengers can enjoy with air travel. Or at least it used to be, before NextGen.
Airlines should be proud to share these views, which promote communities while also sparing residents the excessive noise impacts under more direct departure routes. And, circling around Flushing on a sunny day has got to be a visual thrill for most of the passengers, residents and visitors alike.
The Whitestone Climb, Frame-by-Frame
Below is a series of seven screen-captures pointing out some of the landmarks and discussing the Whitestone Climb. At the bottom, a pair of maps are added to help illustrate the full geographic context of Flushing and LaGuardia.
At time 0:19, near the departure end of Runway 13, starting a right turn to heading 180. The view is to the north-northeast and includes two bridges: Whitestone just left of center photo, and Throgs Neck near the right edge.
At time 0:34, while finishing the right departure turn. The view is now northeast. The large highway is the Whitestone Expressway. The bright blue wall on the left is New York Times Plaza.
At time 0:45, the flight is heading south over Citi Field and into the Flushing Meadows park area. The white buildings on the left are Sky View Center, with downtown Flushing behind. Roosevelt Avenue is to the north of Sky View Center; the Long Island Rail line is to the south.
At time 0:55, the flight has been heading 180 and climbing and has now reached the ‘2.5DME’ fix southeast of LaGuardia. A left turn is started to a new heading, 040. On the right half of the photo, the long band of fields and trees marks the Kissena Corridor Park.
At time 1:19, the view is now looking northwest, toward downtown Flushing in the upper left corner of the photo. The busy Long Island Expressway is along the bottom left half of the photo. The large diagonal road is Main Street, to downtown Flushing. On the right edge of the photo are numerous ballfields and Kissena Lake, in a generally forested area. Note the flight has now climbed high enough to substantially reduce the noise impact.
At time 1:39, the view is looking west-northwest. The ballfields in Kissena Corridor Park are at bottom center, with downtown Flushing beyond. Note that nearly every block is residential, grading from single homes to highrise apartments near the core of downtown Flushing, at Main and Roosevelt.
At time 1:50, the view is nearly due west. The departure end of LaGuardia’s Runway 13 is visible on the top edge, just right of center. The Whitestone route is clearly visible in this photo: the right turn over the water, the southbound climb over non-residential Flushing Meadows corridor, then the long left turn while climbing over the Long Island Expressway. The noise mitigation benefits are substantial.
New York City and vicinity (two airports: KLGA top center, KJFK bottom right)
Flushing and vicinity (click on image for satellite view of Flushing in a new window)
We will soon have a new Congress. I hope we ‘fire’ some of the saboteurs who side with the former guy. I hope, too, to see more electeds who listen and serve people, ahead of money.
A past Congress was misled by lobbyists to give us the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (also known as ‘ANCA’). Notice how the title mashes ‘Noise’ and ‘Capacity’. It takes no effort to guess which was important, and which was ignored. ANCA set us up for the disasters FAA has pursued in the last two decades, pushing scam Metroplex EA’s and NextGen implementations.
The goal of NextGen and Metroplex was NOT about improving safety; it was about safely increasing ‘efficiency’ by expanding automation inputs to flight and ATC (and thus reducing human inputs, by pilots and controllers). These changes were achieved by essentially a wholesale abandonment of previous local noise mitigation procedures. The intent was to increase capacity for the airlines; problematically, at airports where airlines expanded too much, capacity gains caused massive efficiency declines, such as takeoff delays, enroute delays (added turns, slower speeds), and longer waits before taxiing to occupied gates.
In another week or so, the 2022 election will close and this round of attack ads will end. The dust will settle and another iteration of Dems and Repubs will be seated, ready to hear concerns from citizens, and proposals (and deals) from lobbyists. It’ll be ‘rinse and repeat’ time for aviation legislation. Some of our electeds will be working to fix the flaws of ANCA, but they will also be subjected to a heavy barrage of articles, papers, speeches, and so forth, funded by the deep money interests of aviation. This will include new variations on articles like one titled, ‘30 Years After ANCA: Can Airports Live with New Community-Imposed Noise Restrictions?‘ In late April of 2020, at a time when refrigerator trucks were stacking up in New York City to store the overflow of COVID victims, when the pandemic was at its most terrifying point, this article was written, hoping to protect aviation interests. Lobbyists then felt a need to defend aviation from one simple and frankly innocuous proposal: that local airports should have the right to discuss and possibly implement local airport restrictions. The article is filled with garbage and disinformation, much like the assertions at that time that it might help to drink bleach. Here is a copy with aiREFORM analysis footnotes (4page PDF) at page 2, or click here to download the PDF.