The Village of Malverne introduced the new head of the Town-Village Aircraft Safety & Noise Abatement Committee, Larry Hoppenhauer, at its July 2 board meeting. A longtime Malverne resident who spent six years as a TVASNAC member, Hoppenhauer was appointed executive director by the Town of Hempstead at its May 8 meeting.
“Larry’s dedication, and his commitment to im-prove the quality of life for everyone in our village and the surrounding communities, make him the perfect person to fill this role,” Malverne Mayor Patti Ann McDonald said at the meeting.
Deputy Mayor Keith Corbett added that Hoppenhauer’s work to raise awareness about jet noise is being recognized. “Larry has always been pragmatic about the issues, and has tried to solve the issues so that they benefit our residents,” Corbett said. “I’m just glad to see that all of your hard work has really paid off.”
When Hoppenhauer initially got involved with TVASNAC, he said, there was no coordinated effort to lodge aircraft noise complaints with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is responsible for fielding those complaints from residents and businesses. Now, through the advocacy of TVASNAC and other groups, residents can file complaints on the Port Authority’s website, and there is a phone number people can call to raise issues about any airport. Hoppenhauer will push for more transparency.
“What I’m hoping to do is educate more people about the issues,” he said. “If you go to a public meeting, people just want the planes to move. I’m hoping to educate people to tell them that that’s not how it works.”
Hoppenhauer said the group plans to hold public meetings in the communities that it represents to get more people involved with TVASNAC.
“From my perspective, a lot of things that have to happen have to happen through legislation, because they’re the only ones that have control over” the Federal Aviation Administration, Hoppenhauer said, adding that projects such as the current Part 150 noise study, which is examining the impact of plane noise in areas within the flight paths of Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, and the implementation of NextGen at both, need to be overseen. NextGen is a satellite GPS technology that has saved $1.6 billion by reducing jets’ time in the air and their use of fuel, according to the FAA.
Founded in 1966, TVASNAC works with the Port Authority and the FAA to reduce aircraft noise and address other environmental concerns at Kennedy. The committee also works with other grassroots organizations to help ensure that residents’ quality of life is not hurt by changes in flight paths and other issues.
TVASNAC’s jurisdiction includes Atlantic Beach, Cedarhurst, Lawrence, Woodsburgh, East Williston, Floral Park, Garden City, Malverne, New Hyde Park, Stewart Manor and Valley Stream. All are villages.
Support for TVASNAC has been strong on the local and state levels, Hoppenhauer said, but his goal is to encourage more involvement on the part of federal officials.
“We need more inclusion in things that are going to affect us, because in the past, the Port Authority and the FAA didn’t include anybody else in their decision-making process,” he said. “The FAA is only interested in safe skies and promoting the airline industry, nothing to do with people on the ground. That’s why the federal people have to get involved.”
A new representative from Malverne has yet to be named. Hoppenhauer said that he is happy to do anything that supports the village. Now that he’s TVASNAC’s new director, he understands the importance of bringing up the concerns of all the villages under his wing.