Bill in Congress Would Limit Helicopter Noise

Those of you who have followed this blog for some time know that the issue of helicopter noise is perennial. Even if you’re new to the blog, you may know that it’s an issue for Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and other nearby neighborhoods. Just over a year ago, as we noted, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Nydia Velazquez, whose district includes Brooklyn Heights, along with Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold “Jerry” Nadler, called the “Improving Helicopter Safety Bill of 2019.” If enacted, the bill would have banned all non-essential helicopter flights over New York City.

Rep. Nadler has now, as Raanan Geberer in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle has reported, introduced a new bill, “The Safe and Quiet Skies Act.”

The bill, according to Nadler’s office, would mandate strict regulation of commercial air tour operations to address defense risks and community disruption, including no overflights of defense, parks, cemeteries, and other sensitive installations and minimum altitude maximum noise limits on all flights.

The Eagle story notes that “[w]hile the bill doesn’t specify New York City or Brooklyn, a quote from Nadler leaves little doubt about its intended target.”

The commercial air tours that buzz incessantly through New York City’s skies are not only a source of unnecessary and damaging noise and environmental pollution, they put New Yorkers and tourists in danger. After more than thirty helicopter crashes in New York City since 1980 alone, many of which been fatal, I have repeatedly called on the FAA to impose additional regulations to keep our city safe. Unfortunately, the FAA has failed to take meaningful action.

With Democrats in control of the House, Senate, and White House, this bill may stand a good chance of passage and enactment.

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  • Rick

    That would be wonderful if it were enacted.
    And hopefully, enforced!

  • EagleEye

    Rick, Please join the mail list for Stop the Chop NY/NJ at and also sign the petition there. We have good momentum.

  • Mike Suko

    We are NOT alone, either…. I doubt that too many Arizonans would vote for ANYTHING Nadler proposed, but for all that a small number get a “special” photo of the Grand Canyon, it’s easy to argue that those flyovers make the experience worse for the 99% NOT up there.

    Plus every City increasingly turns to “airport runs” at a time when key CEO’s are earning thousands of dollars each hour.

    Last, don’t forget that the NYPD and some local TV stations are a big part of the problem. The next Mayor and the next Councilmember representing B.H. will either see this as even lower hanging fruit than “horse-drawn carriages in Central Park” or a potential “last straw” for some business still Manhattan headquartered. (It should be an obvious “piece” in any effort to reduce NYC’s carbon footprint!)