Southern Brooklyn

Tonight: Forum To Plan Future Of Floyd Bennett Field

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Hangar B at Floyd Bennett Field

Floyd Bennett Field is a beautiful local resource… if you like desolate, semi-industrial wastelands with a view of the Manhattan skyline.

But to most, it’s in desperate need of infrastructural improvements that will make it a destination for generations to come. Cue our local leaders, who have called a public forum to discuss development plans for the remnants of New York City’s first municipal airport.

Congressman Anthony Weiner and Senator Charles Schumer have formed a Blue Ribbon Panel to provide recommendations on possible improvements to the 1400-acre field, which is part of Gateway National Recreation Area. The panel, staffed by the Regional Plan Association and National Parks Conservation Association, wants to hear suggestions and opinions from Southern Brooklyn residents before coming up with a final proposal to the federal politicians.

There’s a lot at stake in the proposal. Will it get the support it needs to remain one of America’s most visited national recreation areas? Will ideas that benefit the entire community be implemented, replacing overgrown airstrips with, perhaps, public pools, community facilities, camp grounds, and cultural centers? Or will it be a handoff of government contracts to private interests?

“The problem is there are too many visions for the future,” Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo told Sheepshead Bites. She added that the Department of Education has proposed putting a charter school for at-risk students on the land, an idea blasted by State Senator Carl Kruger and others. Residents need to get involved to ensure the best – and fairest – use of land and money, according to the chairperson.

“Big taxpayer dollars are being put forth from Schumer and Weiner and it is a good idea to have area residents there to give some ideas before they make it a waste of our money,” she said.

When: 6:00 p.m. tonight
Where: Aviator Sports Complex
Hanger 5
Floyd Bennett Field
3159 Flatbush Avenue, between the Belt Parkway and Aviation Road

Note: Take exit 11 off the Belt Parkway, traveling south on Flatbush Avenue. Entrance is on east side of road

Can’t make tonight’s meeting? A second community meeting will be held at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Far Rockaway, Queens, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, September 27.

Useful links:
RPA website
RPA flyer
Panel Member Biographies

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16 COMMENTS

  1. I like Flyod Bennett Field just the way it is. There is a radio controlled air field, sports fields, trails, Hangar B which contains the vintage aircraft restoration project, a huge indoor sports complex, an archery range, a ramp for the kayakers, and one of the largest vegetable gardens in the city. The Ryan visitor center is open year round and is full of photos from the field’ s glory days. The rangers also give tours throughout the year. There’s also a ton of open space for bike riders and wind sailors. I think they should convert the vacant hangers into some kind of aviation museum and make it a place for school trips or maybe a tourist destination.

  2. The police, coast guard, and other official parts of FBF are just fine, let them stay there. The hanger for vintage aircraft is great, as are the other things that originalbagels mentions.

    How nice would it be if a prospect park type renovation happened there – theres so much other open space. Imagine it, a beautifully landscaped park, with all these great things at the peripheries. We could have a space reserved for small business, like food concessions. It would be filled with 100 times as many people as now come.

  3. I’d like to see them build an aquatic center with an olympic size pool. The swim teams in Brooklyn need it! Right now they have to go to Nassau County for finals.

  4. After 38 years does it look like a NATIONAL RECREATION AREA? Some investigation into the last 38 years may explain why it looks like it does now and how realistic it is to expect the next 38 years will turn out.

  5. I agree totally with originalbagels…I go there occasionally and enjoy it the way it is. Any improvements will increase usage and wreak havoc on the traffic on the belt parkway.

  6. Is this really a National Park? There are areas that you cannot go into and they patrol it like crazy. Imagine getting stopped by 5 police cars because a group rides their bikes into the “wrong” area. This is more like a police state. I got a ticket because I went to aviator and was walking back to the bus stop since I do not have a car. I fought that one and won. Wake up! This is a training camp masquerading as a National Park.

  7. Agreed. It’s great once you know what’s around. I remember searching for Hangar B and winding up at the radio controlled airfield. It’s sad that Floyd Bennett Field doesn’t get its props for being the first NYC airport.

  8. At last night’s meeting, it seemed everyone felt the same. Floyd Bennett is great the way it is. The area just needs some major repair work. No one wants to see additional commercial enterprises such as Aviator. The only thing that resonated all evening was the need for a museum. A place where the history of the Field could be displayed. The next step is a draft of recommendations for the future of Floyd Bennett.

  9. There is no reason to increase traffoc either. For awhile , before this place gets really noticed it is nice to just enjoy the quiet solitude.

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