Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Published online 03-11-2011
Takeoffs Can Be Heard From Across the River
By Raanan Geberer
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — After an increase in reported helicopter flights over Downtown Brooklyn and helicopter noise that could be heard from Brooklyn Heights, an agreement between the city and the helicopter companies was announced earlier this year, as the Eagle has reported. But that agreement didn’t really have teeth in it — until this month.
Now, tourist helicopters whose pilots don’t stick to approved flight paths — usually over the Hudson River — can be fined $100 per violation. These fines could be increased to $1,000 by May.
State Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Downtown Brooklyn/Downtown Manhattan) said, “This is an important victory as we fight against the constant drone of helicopter noise. This new enforcement means that the new rules we have gotten in place will finally have some teeth.” Squadron, who has been involved in the helicopter-noise issue on behalf of his constituents, helped to negotiate this agreement.
The Lower Manhattan Heliport, where all tourist helicopters fly from nowadays, is managed by the city’s Economic Development Corp. (EDC), says EDC spokeswoman Julie Wood. In turn, its day-to-day operation is contracted out to a company called Saker Aviation. It is this company that will be responsible for administering the fines.
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