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Thu, Apr 19, 2018

New York City Councilman Tries Again For Helicopter Tour Ban

Move Follows Accident Last Month In The East River

A New York City Councilman has reintroduced legislation that would ban helicopter tours in the city that break "stage 3 noise limits," a standard that the industry says in impossible to meet.

The New York Post reports that the legislation introduced by Brooklyn Councilman Carlos Menchaca would ban helicopter tours in all five boroughs in New York City in the wake of a fatal accident in the East River in March.

The helicopter tour industry is pushing back hard against the idea, which failed to pass back in 2015 when it was first introduced by Menchaca. Sam Goldstein, deputy director of the Helicopter Tourism and Jobs Council, wrote a letter to the City council saying that while the accident that fatally injured five people last month was "horrific ... conflating the well-regulated NYC-based air tour industry with the ‘adventure charter’ operation that went down is a disservice to the people of New York.”  The letter said that enacting the legislation would negatively affect tourism and jobs in the city.

Menchaca and councilwomen Helen Rosenthal and Margaret Chin, who are cosponsoring the bill, say that the helicopter tour industry in the city is unsafe. In a joint statement, the legislators said "Even before last month’s fatal crash, we have been fighting to hold the tourist helicopter industry to its promise to keep every resident and visitor to our city safe, as well as preserve the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

(Image from file)

FMI: Original report

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