Not reported whatsoever in the press was a City Council meeting of 20 elected federal, state, and city officials, who all want to completely ban tourists helicopters over the city. However, Mayor de Blasio’s EDC, still run by Mayor Bloomberg’s old EDC leader, Kyle Kimball, stubbornly supports the helicopters.
Of note, Kyle Kimball, is also the main reason that Gale Brewer and the other electeds trying to oppose the Seaport tower will likely lose. As we reported previously, at the end of the day, the Mayor (i.e. the EDC) will have the final say.
The only evidence of this meeting on the helicopters is found on the website for State Assemblyman Herman Farrell:
Diverse Group of Elected Officials Agree, NYC Should Ban Helicopter Tourism
A diverse group of nearly 20 elected officials from across New York City met with Mayor de Blasio’s staff at City Hall on June 6 to lay out our and our constituents’ belief that “helicopter tourism” should be banned by the City.
Present at the meeting, in addition to myself and the Mayor’s staff, were Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez, who represents Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan and Queens; Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn; State Senator Daniel L. Squadron, who represents Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn; Assembly Member Felix Ortiz of Brooklyn; Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal of Manhattan; Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer; and City Council Member Mark Levine of Northern Manhattan, plus staff members representing other elected officials who could not attend the meeting.
These officials, who agree that the City should no longer allow tourists helicopter service flights that disrupt the quality of life in our neighborhoods and present a danger to the neighborhoods they are flying over, met with the Mayor’s staff to plead our case. In recent years, since the practice began, many residents of Northern Manhattan have voiced their opposition to the noise created by helicopters hovering over their homes.
Over Northern Manhattan, helicopter flights use the Hudson River as a highway, then cut across Washington Heights to view Yankee Stadium from the air. One helicopter in particular tends to hover in place for extended periods of time, apparently acting as a traffic cop for other flights.
As the meeting ended, Mayor de Blasio’s staff promised a follow-up meeting after the complaints passed along by the group of officials were checked and verified. From our point of view, the issue has been well-studied and analyzed, and the City would be justified in ending the flights.