Bill de Blasio Supports Ban on Commercial Helicopter Flights Over Manhattan

Oct 25, 2019
In The News

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday sided with a trio of New York City lawmakers seeking to ban commercial helicopters from flying in the Big Apple, saying “there should be no non-essential flights over Manhattan.”

De Blasio, during his weekly appearance on WNYC radio, said he’s yet to review the specifics of a bill that Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney and Nydia Velazquez plan to unveil Saturday to ban all tourist and ride-sharing helicopters from flying in city airspace.

But he pointedly said he has “no use” for tourist flights and that the “only helicopters that should be going over Manhattan” are “uniformed services” and other “essential” public services.

“There is too much noise in this city,” de Blasio added. “Helicopters are very disruptive and people are worried about the safety issues.”

Hizzoner also said he doesn’t think “it’s important to have ride-share helicopters” in the city.

However, he did say he believes there are some private uses of helicopters that are “appropriate.”

The proposed ban would apply to all sightseeing chopper rides as well as Uber, Blade and other flight-hailing services. Exceptions would be made for police, medical, emergency and disaster relief efforts. News-gathering outlets could also still fly.

The legislation comes after a sightseeing helicopter crashed into the East River on March 11, 2018, killing five passengers.

Then in June, a helicopter made a crash landing on a Midtown skyscraper, killing the pilot, Tim McCormack.