On June 6, City Hall representatives met with 20+ NYC elected officials representing large swaths of Brooklyn and Manhattan to address the issue of helicopter noise. The attendees included: Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Members Denny Farrell, Feliz Ortiz and Linda Rosenthal along with Council Members Mark Levine, Stephen Levin and Carlos Menchaca. Representatives from the offices of US Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand were also there as was Leslie Koch from the Trust for Governors Island. While the Administration made no commitments, it promised to study the situation further and to schedule another meeting later this summer. The time for meetings and information-gathering is over!
Why are narrow special interests being put ahead of the health and well-being of thousands upon thousands of New Yorkers, especially in light of the city-wide opposition to the helicopter tour industry? Why does the unelected NYC Economic Development Corporation, which oversees this industry, exert such control over the current and past mayoral administrations? Why does the Eastern Region Helicopter Council - the helicopter group's lobbyists - have such a hold over City Hall?
This problem could end easily and legally with the stroke of the Mayor’s pen, as NYC's concession agreement with Saker Aviation, the Nevada-based operator of the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, gives the mayor the absolute right to terminate the contract. Mayor de Blasio - please do the right thing and Stop the Chop!
Stop the Chop NYNJ is a local grassroots coalition of NY and NJ residents seeking to educate the public about the adverse effects of helicopters sightseeing tours on the environment and on the health and welfare of the two million people living underneath their Hudson River flight path.