Possible ban for NYC helicopters
The fight to ban sightseeing helicopters in New York City is gaining steam.
Helicopter flights are soaring across New York with an estimated 60,000 flights each year, resulting in unbearable noise, according to some New Yorkers.
"The takeoffs and landings at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport are incessant," said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. "On the weekend, you can have takeoffs of 14 an hour."
Council member Helen Rosenthal is leading the fight against the choppers, alongside council members Margaret Chin and Carlos Menchaca.
They're sponsoring two bills: one is banning tours in helicopters in NYC and the other is banning all flights over northeast Queens.
"Why have something add to the noise that doesn't have to be there?" Rosenthal asked. "Ambulances are loud because they are in the middle of helping someone get to the hospital and same with police cars. Tourist helicopters don't have to make it worse."
But wait a minute.
The helicopter industry is major money-maker for New York City.
The sightseeing tours are estimated to provide $50 million to New York's $60 billion tourism industry. And the industry provides hundreds of good-paying jobs.
"It's our lives. It's everybody's lives," one pilot said. "These types of companies, as well, they allow helicopter pilots get to the next level. This has started a lot of careers for a lot of helicopter pilots. It's already hard enough and this ban would make it that much harder. This would stop a lot of careers."
According to a city council hearing last week, the de Blasio administration appears to be undecided about the helicopters.