Sen. Menendez, Rep. Sires Press FAA For Implementation Of Recommended Tourist Helicopter Restrictions In New Jersey
By Mel Fabrikant Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 04:26 PM EDT
Senator, Congressman anticipate plan to put into action residents’, local officials’ recommendations to protect Hudson River communities
Following up on the August 27 symposium on the impact of tourist helicopters on New Jersey communities, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and U.S. Congressman Albio Sires (both D-NJ) contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to present a plan for implementing tourist helicopter restrictions to protect quality of life and safety in New Jersey communities along the Hudson River.
A copy of the federal lawmakers’ letter to FAA Eastern Regional Administrator Carmine Gallo is attached and its text is below.
September 23, 2013
Mr. Carmine Gallo
Eastern Regional Administrator
1 Aviation Plaza
Jamaica, NY 11434-4809
Dear Regional Administrator Gallo:
As you know, we have been very concerned about the numerous low flying tourist helicopters that are causing a serious public nuisance over communities on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. When we first called for a meeting on July 29, 2013 bringing together Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials, local elected officials and residents, you were extremely responsive to our concerns. You promptly scheduled a symposium for August 27, 2013 at Teterboro Airport to hear from stakeholders and to evaluate the issues that were involved in ameliorating the situation. This is much appreciated.
We note that there has been a substantial increase in helicopter traffic from 2012 to 2013, which has only exacerbated the concerns communities along the Hudson are having. While we understand the economic development interests of helicopter tourism, we believe that the residents’ well-being and public safety must be the preeminent concerns. Because helicopters have unique characteristics that cause more intensive noise perception than fixed-wing aircraft, we think you will agree that no one should have to endure this barrage of noise and vibration that our New Jersey communities on the Hudson River are experiencing.
We appreciate your promise to – within a month of the Aug 27th symposium – present a plan that could be swiftly implemented that will involve helicopter flight restrictions including fewer flights as well as keeping flights further from shore, higher in altitude, and with strict adherence to time constraints while keeping public safety as a paramount concern. We want to offer you any help you should need to ensure we adhere to this timeframe.
Both of us agree with your recommendation to hold a smaller stakeholders’ meeting before October 18 to discuss your plan to implement the recommendations. We will be happy to host this meeting at the Office of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez in Newark, N.J.
Again, we want to thank you for the responsiveness you have shown us and the affected communities thus far. If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
United States Senator
United States Representative