New York City Seeks To Restrict Helicopter Operations

New York City Seeks To Restrict Helicopter Operations
Buffers on tour, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Councillors in New York City have once again put forward bills to restrict non-essential helicopter travel in the city.

AOPA has made an announcement, calling on this law to be rejected in the relevant chambers.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

Helicopter Operations: What Do New York City Councillors Want To Do?

SnippyHolloW from New York, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bills Int 0026-2024 and 0070-2024 seek to prohibit non-essential helicopter operations in New York City.

This was previously attempted in 2022, but the bills failed amid a coalition of advocates fighting it.

AOPA believes that if these bills pass, it will conflict with the FAA’s overall authority to regulate aviation on the federal level.

The Eastern Regional Manager for the organization, Sean Collins, said the following on this:

“[New York] “is considered by many to be the business center of the world.”

“As such, its heliports are a vital first link in a global network that connects the city to a broader state aviation system and beyond.”

“Enacting these types of laws would have a chilling effect on private investment in aviation industries and infrastructure across the city and state.”

“In addition to the financial hardship that banning ‘non-essential helicopter’ access would cause for the three NYC heliports, New York would be labeled hostile to the aviation community and its outcrop of growing technology sectors.”

Potential Job Losses If It Passes?

New York City Seeks To Restrict Helicopter Operations
Andy C, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

AOPA believes that if this happens in New York City, it would hinder economic activity, resulting in job losses.

There has been precedent in the past overruling bills like this, but no chances can be taken in this regard.

Recently, an appeals court in the city reaffirmed that heliports abide by FAA regulations, and not at the state level.

Such potential bans on non-essential helicopter activity is over noise concerns and complaints made.

However, Collins believes that with new technology on the way, this will address those concerns:

“It will be vitally important for airports and aviation authorities to plan for and adapt their facilities accordingly as these important technologies will serve to reduce the traffic burden on our highways and bridges while sustaining New York’s place in the global economy”.

“These advancements will serve to make many concerns of today obsolete as we progress into the near future.”

“Although the industry’s progress is inevitable, it will require continued investment by NYC to procure these coming advancements as efficiently as possible.”

“Efforts to restrict access will only inhibit the NYC heliport[s’] ability to generate revenue and invest in the future.”


Photo Credit: Beyond My Ken via Wikimedia Commons.

In conclusion, all eyes will be on whether these bills pass.

If they do, then AOPA will no doubt take this to the appeals courts and other regulatory bodies for scrutiny.

Furthermore, if the courts rule in favour of the New York City councillors, then this will be a major blow.

But for now, all we can do is wait and see what happens on this serious topic.

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By James Field - Editor in Chief 4 Min Read
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