The Federal Aviation Administration will study helicopter flights over Long Island, particularly focusing on noise and safety issues, if Congress approves a measure amended by Rep. Tim Bishop and scheduled for a House vote today.
"Suffolk County residents are tired of the roar of helicopters invading the serenity of our island, and frankly, so am I," said Bishop (D-Southampton). "Right now, it feels like there are two sets of parkways: one on our roads, the other over our homes. That is unacceptable."
Bishop's office announced yesterday that he successfully amended the FAA Reauthorization Act, which prioritizes spending at the agency over the next four years. It is expected to pass the House.
Earlier this summer, Smithtown residents like Craig Cooper complained of helicopters that fly so low they often rattle windows and furniture and make it hard to hold a conversation.
"It really becomes intense," he said.
Bishop press secretary Will Jenkins said complaints have come from across Long Island, from Queens to Montauk, although areas like Mattituck, Kings Park, Southampton, Mastic and Shirley in particular have reported problems.
Sen. Charles Schumer has been leading a similar effort in the other chamber, where he has drafted a provision to reduce helicopter noise that will be considered if the authorization passes the House.
Bishop's office said the FAA has not regulated helicopter noise since the 1980s. Allowing pilots to use their own discretion has proved ineffective, he said, and his amendment requires the FAA to submit a report to Congress within six months.
FAA officials have said helicopters are not limited to specific routes like fixed-wing aircraft and that their altitude is not regulated.
"This study is a necessary first step towards the goal of reducing helicopter noise over Long Island," Bishop said. "While I appreciate that some helicopter pilots make an effort to reduce noise levels over our communities, there are simply too many repeat offenders for this matter to continue to go unregulated."
Schumer to host meeting to discuss complaints about loud, low-flying helicopters on East End
Quiet Conflict in Naples, FL A corporate airport becomes a hot button with FAA and industry By John F. Infanger, Editorial Director March 2001 NAPLES, FL — People come here...
A quieter flight plan; Aviation officials create new guidelines aimed at cutting down noise from choppers traveling to East End
Responding to an outcry from Long Islanders over helicopter noise, a group of helicopter and airport operators, along with federal air officials, yesterday recommended a prescribed North Shore route...
The effect of changing aircraft departure patterns on Tinicum and other Delaware County communities was contained in an FAA draft environmental-impact statement for its New York-New...