WPIX-TV reports that the Economic Development Corporation, the agency overseeing operations at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, is “crafting an Air Tour Management plan” to curb noise over Brooklyn Bridge Park and Brooklyn Heights. The report ads that the potential new scheme would not cover commuter flights out of DMH.
BHB confirmed that a plan was in the works today with the EDC’s Senior Public Affairs Associate Kyle Sklerov, who said via e-mail, “We are considering all options, and we are working with elected officials, the community, the helicopter operators, and the FAA” on a plan that will be released “in the coming weeks.”
But other information has come to light: according to a knowledgeable source, April is the second busiest month, behind December, for helicopter tours in New York City, specifically during the holiday periods of Passover and Easter.
It is possible that a recent stretch of warm, clear weather combined with the April 1 ban on sightseeing operations out of the West 30th Street heliport has exacerbated—though perhaps fleetingly—a growing nuisance.
Additionally, city-wide helicopter traffic levels remain unchanged, the source claimed. The copters have just relocated further downtown, resulting in an uptick of less than 10 percent over this time last year.
While the EDC is working with all its moving parts to come up with an effective plan, it could all be for naught. The FAA regulates New York’s airspace, and is responsible for insuring the safe operations of airplanes and helicopters. Any necessary changes would be their responsibility, and could redirect the abundance of choppers over places like Long Island or New Jersey rather than eliminating them altogether.
Despite these excuses and obstacles, the EDC seems confident that their forthcoming “plan” will address most of the concerns voiced by our representatives and ourselves. Wait and see. Because lord knows we can’t hear.