New York Reps Reintroduce Helicopter Regulation Bill

Feb 10, 1999
Press Release
NEW YORK, NY - Three members of the New York Congressional delegation, Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney, Jerrold Nadler and Edolphus Towns, have reintroduced a bill they originally introduced in the 105th Congress to regulate helicopters in New York City.  The bill, which did not pass the Republican-controlled Congress last session, will give the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the authority to regulate helicopters in New York City. The city and state governments are powerless to control the noise caused by the city’s helicopters and heliports.

The Helicopter Noise Control and Safety Act will grant the FAA the authority to determine if helicopters pose a risk to the City’s public health and welfare and to develop a plan to reduce that risk.  The plan may include curfews on the numbers and times of helicopter operations, restrictions on the type of helicopters used, and any other restrictions on helicopter operations that may be necessary to protect public health and welfare. 

“With this bill, the FAA will now have the authority to cut down on the unsafe and noisy helicopters that are chipping away at our city’s quality of life,” Rep. Maloney said.  “Many New Yorkers hear a helicopter over two minutes during peak hours.  Not only is the noise a serious quality of life issue, but the frequency of flights increases the risk of accidents.”

The bill also allows for any city, state, government agency, or person responsible for operating a heliport to request that the FAA implement a plan.  They must submit either a study demonstrating that noise or safety conditions resulting from helicopters pose a risk to the public health and welfare of the city or a plan to reduce those risks.  The FAA would then review and modify the plan and make copies of the plan and the supporting study available at the FAA’s regional offices for public comment.  Once public comment has been considered, the FAA would then implement the plan.

Reps. Maloney and Nadler have written to Rep. John Duncan (R-TN), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Aviation, and Ranking Member, Rep. William Lipinski (D-IL), urging them to hold hearings on the issue of helicopter noise and safety.

Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) is also an original co-sponsor of the bill.