Groups Reject FAA Rule For NY Helicopter Noise

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A proposed rule intended to curb noise by requiring helicopters to use specific routes when operating along the north shore of Long Island has met with broad disapproval from industry groups and pilots. The rule was published in the May 26 Federal Register and sought comment prior to June 25. It got them in the form of 910 public submissions. The FAA says the rule's intent is to "maximize utilization of the existing route flown by helicopter traffic along the north shore of Long Island and reduce the noise impact on nearby communities." Comments from NBAA called the rule "unsafe, unwise and unnecessary." HAI said the rule "has no merit, safety or airspace utilization enhancement, nor benefit for aircraft operators or the communities of Long Island, and is absent any technical, safety, and operational analysis." And the Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC) urged the FAA to "withdraw its proposal entirely."

According to the ERHC, early comments, including those from HAI, NBAA, AOPA, GAMA, NATA, expressed opposition and sought an extension to the comment period, which the FAA denied. In the words of commenter Nadine Fetsko, "It's unconscionable that the FAA would actually consider implementing this in the absence of any sound studies, radar returns, or any quantifiable data that support the premise that a major issue exists." The alphabet groups are hoping to work with the FAA to mitigate noise concerns in a manner that does not regulate local noise-abatement procedures for helicopters. The FAA will now consider its response to the comments received.

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