Schumer calls for permanent restriction on NYC traffic

 - July 23, 2007, 9:20 AM

In a statement issued July 17, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for tighter controls of New York City airspace that would sharply restrict flights below 2,000 feet. Citing the threat of terrorism, Schumer noted, “Over most of the city, all that a pilot has to do as long as he or she stays below 2,000 feet is obtain routine permission from air traffic controllers so that they can track them on radar.” Schumer wrote to the TSA and FAA, asking for a number of “improvements” to the existing rules. Noting the TFR that will be in effect during the Republican National Convention, from August 30 to September 2, he proposed “making this security upgrade permanent.” He also recommended closure of the “Hudson River approach and tightening of security at heliports.” A permanent waiver, he added, could be granted for “pilots and aircraft such as news and traffic helicopters.” NBAA’s response was brief and to the point. “Here we go again,” said Don Baldwin, chairman and acting president. “We experienced this with Chicago shortly after 9/11, and now in New York. And again, we’re fully prepared to defend our members’ right to access.”