Helicopters Banned From BK Heights Now Bugging Washington Heights Rez

Residents of Washington Heights in Manhattan are incensed by persistent noise from helicopters—after they were relocated from flying over Brooklyn Heights, Midtown and lower Manhattan. DNAInfo reports that in April 2010, the Economic Development Corp. instituted new routes for the noisy whirlybirds after consistent complaints from Brooklyn politicians. The new plan specified that tours from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport could not fly over those affected regions and instead, were directed north.

Now, uptown Manhattan residents are mounting their own petition against what they say is an excessive flight pattern. Sightseeing helicopters flying over the historic 155th Street and Riverside Drive corridor have created such a disturbance—one resident claims to have counted 67 flyovers in a three-hour period—that community members are asking for a ban on the helicopters. “It is like we live in a war zone,” said Renée Davis on Riverside Drive & West 156th Street.

Opponents point to the heliport’s $45 million contributed annually to the city’s economy. Read the full story here.

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  • Gerry

    These choppers are still around I hear them all the time.

  • David on Middagh

    Whack-a-mole.

  • Park Lover

    Just because they aren’t flying inland doesn’t mean anything. Up to 14 tourist chopper flights fly in rotation every day (the current average is about 8-9), making 200-300 round trip flights that start at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, swoop down Buttermilk Channel, cross over part of Red Hook and Staten Island, before heading north along the Hudson River (and then returning by flying very close to Governors Island before landing again at the DMH). The EDC, which has jurisdiction over the DMH; Saker Aviation, which operates it; and the NJ-based chopper companies that use it have taken a “we’ll do whatever we want” attitude, since neither Bloomberg (on the ground) nor the FAA (in the air) will address the noise or air pollution from this nonessential chopper traffic (totally ignoring other elected officials and community groups on this issue). We need a real coalition to do something about this- the East and West Sides got rid of the tourist choppers; what about us?

  • Park Lover

    ps– the $45M is bogus– results from double-counting money spent on hotel rooms, food, etc.

  • Andrew Porter

    Wow: $45 million for the city? The illegal drug trade generates far more than that, so I guess we should encourage that as good for NYC’s economy.

    Think about all those people actually driving into Manhattan over the GWB, coming here just to shop for their drugs. Bet it’s even more than the money pumped into the economy from film shoots.

  • Wiley E.

    Nabeguy moved away to soon.