NEW YORK (PIX11) — The constant buzzing of helicopter traffic over New York is getting in the way of the holiday spirit.
Complaints about chopper noise flooded the city’s emergency phone lines during Thanksgiving. A City Council committee met to discuss the matter Tuesday about the issue that’s been hovering over the five boroughs for years. Many want to end non-essential flights and shut down three city-owned heliports.
Andrew Genn, the senior vice president of the Economic Development Corporation, which operates the heliports, defended the operation.
“Less than 5 percent of the total complaints were from tour flights from the heliports,” he said.
Brooklyn Councilman Lincoln Restler, who wants to ban all non-essential helicopter flights over the city, said noise is just one issue. There’s also the problem of the pollution created by all the flights.
Councilman Christopher Marte said noise complaints are the second most common type of complaints his office deals with after rat complaints.
There have been a number of helicopter accidents over the city in recent years, resulting in restrictions on tour flights that are now directed to fly over water.
Non-essential flights are considered commuter flights, such as those to the Hamptons. Heliport operators say they can’t control flights from New Jersey that contribute to the noise, but they can stiffen controls on this side of the river