Queens, NY – “Last night, our city was the setting of a tragic crash that resulted in the loss of five lives and altered the lives of so many friends, family members, and onlookers who witnessed the fatal events take place. I think I speak for all New Yorkers when I say that our hearts break for the victims and their families and that they will forever be remembered in our thoughts and in our prayers.
“While it is too soon to jump to conclusions as we are still waiting to hear all of the details, we must still look to what can be done to prevent anything like this from ever happening again. For a very long time, residents in my district have expressed their worries about helicopters that fly over the area and the affects it has on the communities of Northern Queens that I represent. That is why earlier this year I introduced legislation that seeks to manage the helicopter routes over our city, and our state.
“Currently, there is very limited regulation of helicopter routes in New York State. In fact, one private locally organized group, the Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC), has begun self-policing helicopter routes over the state. While well intentioned, a private organization of helicopter pilots is not nearly enough and is not what our communities need when it comes to regulating helicopter traffic above our homes.
“My legislation (S6875) seeks to direct the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to acquire control over the operation of helicopters. By instituting oversight of helicopters and their operations we will not only improve safety for passengers, but also improve the quality of life for those neighborhoods they fly over.