May 28, 2009
Given the now mythic “Miracle on the Hudson,” the Jan. 15 event in which an Airbus 320 USAirways aircraft was successfully landed on New York’s Hudson River after a dual bird strike caused catastrophic engine failure, you’d think New York officials would be especially attuned to the problems caused by attracting large numbers of birds to airports. Nevertheless, the Associated Press reports that the city is mulling construction of a large transfer station 700 yards from the end of a runway at LaGuardia International Airport.
City sanitation managers and the Federal Aviation Administration say that the transfer facility would not pose a risk because all waste handled on the site will be in containers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, pilots, bird experts and members of Congress remain skeptical.
"Stand in any street and watch the garbage truck go by. Guess who is flying above them? They leak liquid, they have trash hanging off the sides — anybody knows that," Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., says in the AP report. "The whole thing is mystifying. Of all the places to put it, why direct deadline center at the end of a runway?"