'Chopping' out the noise

Daniel L. Squadron

March 06, 2011

The New York Post

By Heather Haddon

Last Updated: 12:42 PM, March 6, 2011

Posted: 2:03 AM, March 6, 2011

Meet the pilot police.

Aviation authorities have quietly started cracking down on hell-raising helicopters breaking new city flight restrictions for sightseeing aircraft, The Post has learned.

The Downtown Manhattan Heliport, the chopper hub owned by the city Economic Development Corp., began scanning radar systems last month to kill the buzz from pilots incessantly circling over residential areas in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Saker Aviation, the heliport’s operator, appointed a safety officer last month to help nab those who flout regulations dictating where and for how long helicopters can fly — a major victory in the heated war to hush-up the choppers.

"This is a big deal," said state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn Heights), who has been on the chopper case after residents flooded his office with pleas for help.

"Residents can’t continue to suffer from the scourge of helicopters," he added.

Last April, a court banned tourist helicopters from taking off from the West 30th Street heliport after park advocates argued that the launching pad couldn’t exist in the green space.

All tourist flights shifted to Pier 6 in the South Street Seaport area, with departures jumped by 10 percent from the year before.

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