Volume Up On Noise Complaints

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As the volume decreases near major airports in the post-9/11 slump, the noise level at major GA airports is going up seemingly in direct proportion to the angry voices opposed to their expansion. And it's perhaps no coincidence that the airplane noise -- and the rhetoric -- are loudest in the traditionally near-8,000-flights-per-day New York area. Last week mayors of towns near Morristown (N.J.) Airport took their case to the Morris County Board of Freeholders. "We know the economic value of the airport ..." said Hanover Mayor Ronald F. Francioli. "But the amount of jet activity at this airport has now reached a proportion that goes beyond nuisance." Those jets serve the growing number of businesses that no longer want to put up with the hassle and time of flying commercial. Morristown ranks close behind New Jersey's busiest airport (Newark International) and several new corporate hangars have been built or are under construction. Over at Teterboro, noise-abatement meetings have resumed between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport, and neighboring towns. Some of those towns are suing the Port Authority over airport issues, and meetings of the Teterboro Aircraft Noise Abatement Advisory Committee have been suspended since May. Meanwhile, a $92 million airport-improvement project is being called an expansion by those opposed to it.