The Brooklyn Paper reports that New York City and the operators of tourist helicopter flights have agreed to a phased reduction of the number of such flights that will result in a fifty percent reduction as of January 2017. Sunday flights will cease entirely as of April 1 of this year. A twenty percent reduction in the number of flights from 2015 levels will go into effect in June of this year; this will become a forty percent reduction as of October, then fifty percent in January. The Brooklyn Paper story quotes Mayor de Blasio:
We’ve reached an agreement that will significantly cut down on the number of helicopter tours near residential areas and major parks, while keeping this part of our tourism sector active and viable.
The deal was announced as a bill was under consideration in the City Council that would have banned tourist helicopter flights entirely; a position some affected residents still prefer. The New York Times quotes John Dellaportas, a Battery Park City resident and president of Stop the Chop NYNJ: “So instead of a flight every two minutes, it will be one every four minutes.”
One question occurs to this writer: How is the baseline for a reduction from “2015 levels” to be determined? Will it be an average of flight numbers per day over the course of that year, or will the operators be able to cherry pick a day of peak activity and use that as the baseline?
Photo: Acclaim Images; public domain.