Last November, citing The City, we noted that there had been a large increase in complaints to 311 about helicopter noise. Now AMNY reports that City Councilmember Lincoln Restler (photo) has introduced a bill that, if enacted, would ban all “non-essential” flights from city owned heliports. This would include all commuter and tourist flights. Those deemed “essential” would be “U.S. armed forces, emergency services, police and the fire department, as well as news helicopters.” Emergency landings of any type of flight would always be allowed.
The ban can only apply to the two heliports — Lower Manhattan and East 34th Street — that are owned by the City. One at West 30th Street, officially the “VIP Heliport,” is under State control. The AMNY story quotes Mr. Restler, “If we can set a precedent for city-operated heliports, I am hopeful that the state will follow suit.” There is another nearby heliport in New Jersey; banning non-essential flights from it over New York would require federal action.