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January 4, 2014- By Delia von Neuschatz
Our elected officials have accomplished absolutely zero in mitigating the tourist helicopter issue since air tours moved to the Downtown Manhattan Heliport in 2008 after they were banned from using the East 34th Street and West 30th Street heliports. The time for letters to the FAA and noise studies and the like is over. NJ politicians met with the FAA about this in September and absolutely nothing has been accomplished. It is now time for action.
These unnecessary helicopter sightseeing tours should be phased out completely beginning with an immediate ban on air tours during weekends and federal holidays, a curfew of 5:00 PM (as opposed to the 7:00 PM that it is now), no more large, very noisy Sikorsky helicopters and no more than one tour in the air at any one time!
New York City owns the Downtown Manhattan Heliport and has contracted its operation out to Saker Aviation.
The new mayor should be contacted about this as should Gale Brewer, the new Manhattan Borough President. In addition, I urge anyone concerned about this issue to write or call our local politicians and ask them specifically what they are planning to do to cut back on the amount of noise resulting from incessant helicopter sightseeing tours:
Senator Chuck Schumer: Max Dworin at Max_Dworin@Schumer.senate.gov., 212-486-4430
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: Jordan Baugh at email@example.com, (212) 688-6262
Congressman Jerrold Nadler: Celine Mizrahi at Celine.Mizrahi@mail.house.gov (212) 367-7350
State Sen Daniel Squadron: Mary Cooley at Mary@DanielSquadron.org, (212) 298-5565
Council Member Margaret Chin: Xiaomin Zhao, firstname.lastname@example.org, (212) 587-3126