by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, and Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition
A while back, I reported on legislation introduced by the New York City Council to amend the city’s administrative code to reduce noise from chartered helicopters. I had noted in that blog that such legislation had been introduced earlier and wondered if the present legislation would indeed be passed.
Now we learn that Representatives Jerry Nadler, Nydia Velazquez, and Carolyn Maloney have reintroduced federal legislation that would “cut down on helicopter traffic and noise pollution by barring nonessential helicopters from flying over New York City.” Sydney Pereira, writing at Gothamist.com, cites the 130% increase in helicopter noise complaints “between October 2019 and October 2020.” We should also note that during the pandemic, noise from overhead helicopters is even more stressful. Congressman Nadler’s statement in citing helicopter crashes and deaths also speaks to the safety issue of helicopter flights.
One hopes that this federal legislation would ease the discomfort of residents in New York and New Jersey who have been complaining for years about these overhead helicopters as well as allow other states, where there has been similar citizen outcry about helicopter noise, to impose restrictions on tour flights. As I had stated in an earlier post, I await, without holding my breath, the passage of the federal legislation this time around.