Mar 4, 1997
Press Release
NEW YORK, NY - Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) has contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for assistance in obtaining federal action to regulate the operation of the 34th Street Heliport.  The Heliport has plagued residents of the East Side of Manhattan with helicopter noise and quality of life problems for several years.

An  Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) issued in 1993 determined that residents of New York’s East Side are heavily burdened by the helicopter noise.  The EIS concluded further that the heliport generates significant noise levels during both peak and average hours of operation, and that single events give rise to intrusive noise levels.

The City of New York attempted to regulate helicopter traffic at the 34th Street Heliport by limiting the number of flights, eliminating weekend travel, reducing the hours of operation and controlling the route that helicopters can travel.  However, a Federal court has ruled that the City of New York can not impose certain limitations on the heliport’s use. In particular, the Court’s decision permanently prohibits the City from enforcing restrictions that require a 47% reduction in operations, the complete elimination of weekend flights, the designation of sightseeing routes, the exclusion of Sikorsky S-58T helicopters from engaging in sightseeing operations, and markings to identify craft operation out of the heliport.

Since the Federal court has ruled that aviation safety and efficiency requirements can only be regulated by the Federal government, Maloney has contacted the FAA, requesting them to take swift action to control the traffic.

 “Although the City’s requirements were reasonable, legitimate and effective, the Court’s ruling precludes the City from enforcing them, claiming that only the Federal government can impose these requirements,” says Maloney. “That is why I am urging the FAA to take whatever steps may be necessary to implement these types of restrictions in order to control the unhealthy and unbearable noise and air traffic in the City.”

Congresswoman Maloney’s concerns are shared by Assemblyman Steve Sanders and other area elected officials.