Brooklyn Heights

Council bills to ‘stop the chop’ won’t affect most helicopter flights

July 3, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — AFTER YEARS OF noise complaints over low-flying helicopter noise, the City Council is considering two bills that ban non-essential flights from the East 34th Street and Downtown Manhattan helipads. These bills would be unlikely to “stop the chop,” as just 4% of flights drawing 311 complaints used those two helipads, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation. A Gothamist analysis of Memorial Day weekend helicopter traffic data showed that only a quarter of the city’s commercial helicopter flights took off from the Downtown helipad. Over two-thirds of the city’s helicopter traffic took off from nearby airports. Elected officials said the city is powerless to stop these flights or censure pilots who fly below the required 1,000 feet limit, as the city’s airspace is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“New Jersey makes a lot of money [from helicopter flights]…I tried to stop it. It ain’t going to happen by itself without the federal government,” Councilmember Gale Brewer said at an April council hearing.


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