Sully Trashes City’s LaGuardia Waste Plan
Hero pilot Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the US Airways pilot who knows a bit about birds striking aircraft, took to the airwaves recently in a campaign to trash Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Waste Transfer Station at LaGuardia Airport.
Sullenberger pulled off the “Miracle On The Hudson” when he safely splash-landed his Airbus A320 in the Hudson River, after Canada geese crippled the aircraft’s engines in 2009. All passengers and crew on board US Air Flight 1549 survived the landing.
Sully is taking part in the fight to stop construction of a waste transfer station near LaGuardia Airport that opponents say will act as bait for birds that strike aircraft engines.
Sully last week loaned his voice to a radio ad campaign that denounces the construction of the North Shore Transfer Station saying it will “attract birds into the path of oncoming flights, putting thousands of lives at risk, including passengers in the city and citizens on the ground”.
The facility is expected to handle an estimated 3,000 tons of garbage every day, offering a dangerous distraction for the birds, opponents said.
Sources told the Gazette that the facility is already attracting the birds, who can be spotted perching on the construction.
Assemblymember Grace Meng is calling on the city and the Port Authority to halt the construction.
Meng said the station, slated for completion in 2013, poses an extreme hazard to air travelers and people on the ground.
The Assemblymember said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has raised concern about the project over the last 10 years. The Flushing lawmaker introduced a bill to the Assembly that, if passed, would prohibit the construction of waste transfer stations near airports in heavily populated areas of New York City.
A spokesperson for Bloomberg said a waste transfer station located at the same site operated successfully from 1954 to 2001.
While Sully has opposed the transfer station in media interviews since his 2009 miracle, the recent TV and radio ads mark the first time he has spoken directly on behalf of its opponents.