Maloney Renews Call to Ban Non-Essential Helicopters from Manhattan in Wake of Crash

Jun 10, 2019
Press Release

Following news reports that a helicopter crashed onto the roof of the AXA Equitable building, located at 787 7th Avenue, between 51st and 52nd Streets, sparking a two-alarm fire, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), who represents the area in Congress, issued the following statement:

“Today, New York City experienced yet another deadly helicopter crash, this time, with our nightmare of having a helicopter crash into a building. It appears that the pilot was killed and no one else was seriously injured – but this pilot’s death is one too many. We cannot rely on good fortune to protect people on the ground. It is past time for the FAA to ban unnecessary helicopters from the skies over our densely-packed urban city. The risks to New Yorkers are just too high.”



  • Congresswoman Maloney was able to include language in the FY2000 Transportation Appropriations; Public Law 106-69, signed October 9, 1999, to provide for a study to develop and implement plans to reduce risks to the public caused by helicopter operations
  • On March 22, 2018, Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney and Jerrold Nadler led a group of their New York and New Jersey colleagues in voicing their continued opposition to helicopter tourism in light of the March 11, 2018 helicopter crash in New York City’s East River that killed five passengers
  • In response to a 2007 report by the National Transportation Safety Board on the October 2006 plane crash on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to permanently prohibit aircraft from flying over the East River
  • In 2002 Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler urged the FAA to address concerns regarding airspace security and the impact of low-flying aircraft on residential communities
  • The AXA Equitable building was not equipped with a helipad
  • New York banned helicopters from landing on rooftops following a 1977 crash into the Pan Am Building (now called the Met Life Building). 
  • News helicopters have been told the cloud ceiling (900 feet) was too low to fly
  • Visibility at the time of the crash was less than 1 mile because of heavy fog