Tourism helicopters ravaging communities along the Hudson
May 05, 2013 | 1721 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

We need to reclaim the skies over our communities. Join the movement that has stretched across the Hudson at Stop NYC Tourist Helicopters Over NJ Side of Hudson River on Facebook.

Our skies have become a super-highway for tourism helicopters. Communities from the GWB to Liberty State Park are under siege from the growing tourist helicopter industry. Just listen for the constant drone rotor blades noise. Why so bad this year?

NYC communities, according to a Feb 2013 Daily News story, got together, made their own noise getting results. In April 2010, a community event hosted by City Councilman Robert Jackson was held when the city’s Economic Development Corp. inked a deal with five helicopter tour operators and their trade association, the Eastern Region Helicopter Council, or ERHC, aimed at curbing noise levels around parts of NYC. Under the plan, the sightseeing helicopters, based out of the Downtown Manhattan were assigned new routes so not to overfly populous areas like midtown and downtown NYC.

Where have they gone, our front door step. The new flight routes were established smack over the Hudson River flying north up the NYC side and south down the NJ side and at low altitude due to air traffic from Liberty International Airport per the Daily News story.

Low-flying, annoying rotor drone helicopter noise wakes us up, startles infants and pets. This has become a giant nuisance for the residents along the west side of the Hudson River plus as well as in Redhook, and Brooklyn Heights, and over Governor’s Island who have been dealing with this longer.

Worst of all, who benefits from this tourism trade in the sky, certainly not those of us who are impacted. According to NYC’s Economic Development Corp, the industry supports 300 jobs, pumps some $50 million annually into NYC’s economy. Some Brooklyn residents claim those figures are heavily inflated.

It’s unsettling to be woken from a deep sleep, interrupted all day by the constant assembly line of helicopters and now into the evenings too thank to new evening tours out of a new heliport in Paulus Hook NJ by a NYC registered company.

You can argue that our quality of life is at stake including our property values. Residents all along the Hudson need to unite and be heard so that sensible actions can be taken. Perhaps later AM starting times and earlier evening cut offs, less frequent trips (a max number of trips per helicopter per day), and they should all be required to muzzle their noise levels too. The other alternative is to ground them. It’s a chronic noise pollution problem over an extremely highly dense urban region.

Take a stand, unite, go to Stop NYC Tourist Helicopters Over NJ Side of Hudson River on Facebook to like and get involved, share you story, keep in touch as we make a lot of our own noise from the ground with our politicians towards effecting positive change in the skies over our bedroom communities.

Brian Wagner

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