First of all...the guy who planned this stunt should be fired for gross negligence and plain old fashioned stupidity. A 747 flying that close to NYC is bound to cause an uproar...and the idiot in charge doesn't deserve to be employed any longer.
The public should have been informed, and it could have been done even a few days in advance with a simple press release that likely would have taken only a few minutes to draft and maybe a few more to send out to the local news media in NY and NJ.
IMO there really isn't an excuse for a lack of communication like this.
"You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."