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Dozens complain about flight path test at Teterboro Airport

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BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. - Teterboro Airport has been testing a new flight path for incoming planes.

It was controversial when announced in March, but the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has only received 13 complaints to-date from nine people. While one local mayor reports receiving as many as 50, another mayor has gotten 5 and some report receiving zero.

In March, the Federal Aviation Administration announced they would be testing a new flight path for planes coming into Teterboro Airport. The goal was to keep plane noise away from Hackensack University Medical Center. The new route they are testing directs pilots to essentially follow Route 17 from Mahwah down to Teterboro.

Mahwah residents may have logged more complaints than any other town in Bergen County. Mayor Bill Laforet says he’s received at dozens of complaints about loud small planes flying overhead.

“Traffic has increased in a large volume, enough to get the notice of residents when they’re sitting out on their patios enjoying their life, like never before, they are interrupted by these low flying jets,” he said.

Rochelle Park has received about 5 complaints from residents, according to Deputy Mayor Jay Kovalcik.

“I would like to encourage all Rochelle Park residents to reach out to our Township Administrator or any elected official to share any and all feedback,” said Kovalcik, “We are planning to share all feedback and request that all changes be made to the betterment of our residents and township."

Rochelle Park resident and realtor, Max Krchmar, said he did reach out to complain to the Port Authority. The Port Authority has a noise complaint form available on their website. Krchmar said when the older jets fly over his home, it’s downright disturbing.

“They are earth shaking. They will wake you up in the middle of the night or the morning,” he said.

While for some homeowners who used to bear the brunt of the plane noise, the shoe is now on the other foot.

“I used to have a direct flight path right over my house. So now that they’ve moved the planes more toward the Route 17 corridor, I’m not seeing as many planes flying over my house any longer,” said Mario Sicari, a Paramus resident.

Even when he had to deal with the noise, Sicari said he appreciated having the airport nearby.

“Look we live in concrete village in Bergen County,” he said, “There is a lot of business down here. And I think the airport serves an important function to businesses in Bergen County.”

Mahwah Mayor Laforet said he’s not optimistic that the FAA will alter the flight path once the test is complete, even if complaints increase.

“I just don’t know that the complaints are enough to change their mind no matter what,” he said