Maloney Calls for Greaters Scrutiny of Helicopter Traffic Over New York City
Congresswoman Maloney said, “The time has come to seriously consider whether or not it makes sense to continue to permit non-essential helicopter traffic originating in Manhattan. Fortunately the most recent accidents have had no fatalities, however, it is imperative that future accidents be prevented. We can no longer afford to allow people to joy-ride at the expense of safety.
“Only the most necessary air traffic should be allowed over New York City. Helicopter traffic poses both an unacceptable safety risk for passengers and for people on our streets and waterways. As we see in this latest accident, the swift currents of the East River make it very dangerous to crash in the water.
"Furthermore, helicopter traffic is by its very nature disruptive nature to the quality of life in neighborhoods surrounding heliports. Helicopters add noise pollution and danger. Eliminating non-essential air traffic reduces these concerns.
"I urge the FAA to increase its regulation of helicopter traffic in New York City."
In March 2000, language authored by Congresswoman Maloney was included in the Aviation Investment and Reform spending bill to address public complaints regarding helicopter noise, traffic, and safety issues. Maloney's language urges the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a study "on the effects of nonmilitary helicopter noise on individuals in densely populated areas" in the U.S. and to "develop recommendations for the reduction of the effects of nonmilitary helicopter noise." The study has never been released.