New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has vetoed a bill that would have allowed anyone to sue the employees of helicopter operators over noise even if the operations generating the noise are legal. According to NBAA, the “Stop the Chop” bill was passed by state legislators in June and would have allowed individuals to launch suits against any “pilot, flight department, line service personnel or company employee operating in the state for alleged helicopter noise pollution.” In her veto announcement, Hochul said she was happy to leave most aviation regulation matters to the feds.
“Regulation of aircraft and airspace is primarily a federal responsibility, and federal law significantly constrains the state’s ability to legislate in this area. Certain elements of this legislation run counter to the federal scheme regulating New York’s airports and airspace,” she said. NBAA spurred its members to oppose the bill and finally lobbied Hochul directly to kill the measure. “In New York, the general aviation industry is responsible for 43,200 jobs and more than $8.6 billion in total economic output, and this proposed legislation would have done great harm to our industry,” said NBAA President Ed Bolen.