New Jersey officials call for ban on tourist helicopters over Hudson
Aug 08, 2014 | 2498 views | 3 3 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBOKEN—Sen. Robert Menendez gathered with a united front of New Jersey public officials in Hoboken’s Pier A Park Friday to call for a ban on tourist helicopters over the Hudson River.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said it was important to work with New York representatives to coordinate an end to the tour helicopters.

“New York doesn’t want these helicopters, and New Jersey doesn’t want them either,” she said.

Menendez said the noise produced the choppers is intolerable for residents and businesses.

“I’ve lived here,” said Menendez. “I’ve heard it and it is as constant and as drumming and as consequential in its daily reality as anyone can possibly imagine.”

The helicopters are a potential safety issue as well as a noise issue. Menendez mentioned three crashes involving in recent years, including one collision between a tourist helicopter and small plane over the Hudson near Hoboken that left nine people dead.

The incessant drone of rotors was no mere theoretical concept. At least 12 were heard during the first 40 minutes of the press conference.

"They’re cooperating,” joked Menendez.

Also at the conference were Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, West New York Mayor Dr. Felix Roque, Bayonne Mayor James Davis, Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Drascheff, and Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano.

Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-West New York), Cosmo Cirillo, Chief of Staff to Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Secaucus), and Mark Albiez, Deputy Chief of Staff to Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, were also on hand.

Robert Gottheim, the District Director for Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), was the only New York representative. Nadler’s district includes the Manhattan waterfront across from Hoboken.

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February 27, 2015
I wonder if Mr. Smith would be as strident in his support of the unending parade of tourist helicopters if they constantly buzzed HIS home from early morning into the evening hours? (Betcha' he lives somewhere out in the 'burbs.)

As someone who lives along the Hudson, I can assure you, it's enough to make your teeth rattle. If, on my well earned day off, I choose to read a book while sitting on my terrace or at our building's pool, I find it necessary to wear earplugs in order to cut - not extinguish - the choppers' (and that is plural) overbearing racket. And this isn't one chopper at a time. These are as many as 5 or 6 choppers at once, inhabiting the same tight fly zone above our homes and common areas. Just try having a conversation with a neighbor. Sometimes it impossible. Watch TV? Forget it.

As a permanent resident, tax payer, and homeowner, I am fed up with sacrificing my quality of life in the interests of the tourist trade. Frankly, this area used to produce tangible products, not just churn money and rely so heavily on tourist dollars.

If you don't want to see the tourist helicopter industry eliminated, then regulate it.
August 08, 2014
only fair to present both sides...Jeff Smith, vice president of the eastern regional helicopter council, has issued the following statement:

As a recent NYU study definitively proved, the helicopter industry is a critical contributor to our local economy and - as we witnessed after Superstorm Sandy - to our region’s emergency response services. The report found that the helicopter tourism industry generates more than $33 million in economic activity each year and, as all tour operators are based in New Jersey, supports hundreds of local NY and NJ jobs.

The changes being proposed would significantly alter the federally regulated National Airspace system and harm the local New Jersey economy. Our helicopter owners remain committed to working collaboratively with local officials to find reasonable solutions that don’t strip New York and New Jersey of hundreds of jobs, millions of dollars in revenue and vital emergency response services.

August 08, 2014
Zimmer says it helicopters are of benefit to the few at the cost of the many? Is this a bit hypocritical in that is exactly what her administration is about? (benefiting the few who voted for her to the detriment of the majority and in violation of state and Federal laws)