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Friday, February 1, 2008

Rotorcraft Report: Operators to Address N.Y. Noise Complaints

COMMERCIAL

Under political pressure from an influential U.S. senator, helicopter operators and airports have agreed to a series of measures to reduce helicopter noise over and around communities on New York state’s Long Island.

The Eastern Region Helicopter Council, together with East Hampton and Gabreski Airports, agreed to move flights away from populated areas, and promote noise-abatement procedures, among other measures. The move came under pressure from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who was responding residents’ complaints about increased helicopter noise. Schumer had threatened legislation to restrict helicopter flights to overwater routes.

Helicopter flights between Manhattan and eastern Long Island’s beach resorts have increased significantly in recent years. East Hampton Airport, for instance, has experienced traffic increases of roughly 30 percent. The vast majority of noise complaints airport officials receive have concerned helicopter flights.

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