Alphabets Oppose Proposed NYC Helipad Changes


Two bills being considered by New York City government would seriously crimp helicopter operations at city-owned helipads, a group of aviation advocates has said. NYC wants to strengthen noise regulations at city helipads as well as require extensive documentation from helicopters operating there. In a letter sent to NYC’s Committee on Economic Development, the groups said “the restrictions on helicopter operations at the City’s heliports proposed by bills no. 2026 and no. 2067 would be devastating to New York City’s economy overall, as well as the economic viability of the heliports and the helicopter industry as a whole.” 

The National Business Aviation Association, one of the coalition members along with AOPA, HAI and others, said that “Bill No. 2067 would require the operators of the city’s heliports to collect documentation from every helicopter that takes off or lands at its facility, including its airworthiness certificate, registration, inspection report, the route flown to arrive at the landing site and the planned route of departure. The FAA already closely regulates helicopter operations and prohibits municipalities from burdening them with documentation or other requirements that are additional to—or even merely duplicative of—federal standards.” It also objected to the city’s proposed strengthening of noise regulations at owned heliports to aircraft meeting Stage 3 noise levels, excepting police, news reporting and medevac. Most helicopters are certified to Stage 1 or Stage 2. 

“Helicopters play a critical role in business aviation, and NBAA has long fought to protect access for all operators,” said Christa Lucas, NBAA senior vice president of government affairs. “We also strongly support innovation and technology developments in our industry.” The coalition says that “passing these two bills could affect as many as 80% of NYC helicopter operations based on pre-COVID numbers, further hobbling the local economy at a time when economic activity, like moving people and commerce and preserving small businesses, should be encouraged.”

Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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    • Nah, noise complaints probably originated from the wealthy living in their high rises with a view. Finding themselves living in the vicinity of these pocket heliports landing and taking off annoys them to gather together into a political group to influence local politics to pressure change when noise levels from helicopters will not lessen. They bought into their abodes knowing full well the nearby heliports are conducting flights. The very wealthy could care less as they drop in by helicopter rather than become tied up in local traffic that’s just one large slow moving parking lot of vehicles. The buildings echoing noise levels add to the charm. I visited the Brooklyn Promenade several years ago when a squad of unmarked plain green V-22 Ospreys (presidential detail?) were approaching, landed and took off o from the lower East Side heliport. Not one sound came across the narrow East River for me to hear them. I’m sure the downtown tourists and Mahattanites that day were enthused as one V-22 Osprey makes a lot of noise, let alone a squadron of them. It was serendipity as no announcements were made to the public. All the business and tourist helicopters left otherwise they’d be blown off the heli pier from the large down wash from one Osprey.

  1. I guess they don’t need medevac injured people in New York… let them all die.
    So says the governor… and now the idiots running the cities…

  2. The astute NYC voter would ask themselves, “What does collecting copies of the airworthiness certificate, registration, and the inspection report have to do with reducing noise from helicopters?” Realizing there is no sensible answer to that question, they would then realize this is an expansion of Mayor de Blasio’s war on the rich.

  3. “Documentation from every aircraft that takes off or lands at its facility, including its airworthiness certificate, registration, inspection report, the route flown to arrive at the landing site and the planned route of departure.”

    Shucks anyone who has flown into Mexico in the last 30 years is familiar with this drill. A mini bureaucracy at most airports now coming to a helipad near you.

  4. And this is the legislative mentality the VTOL proponents will have to wade through. Amazing, the reasoning ((or lack of it) to come up with these proposed changes.