Anti-Noise Groups Make the Most of Big Apple Helo Ops Bans
It should come as no surprise that citizen groups opposing helicopter operation over Manhattan are using the aftermath of September 11 to lobby lawmakers for further restrictions. Excerpts from a letter recently sent to members of the Helicopter Noise Coalition of New York City (HNCNYC) and New York Sens. Chuck Schumer (D) and Hillary Clinton (D) and Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D) and Carolyn Maloney (D) reflect some of the anti-helicopter mindset of which those who make their living operating rotorcraft should be aware. In a surprising instance of prejudicial profiling, the HNCNYC justified its opposition to air tours in part by warning that “90 percent of the passengers of [New York’s] sightseeing flights are foreign tourists.” The letter went on to ask, “What is to prevent a terrorist from hijacking a helicopter, carrying a bomb or chemical biological agents aboard or flying a solo helicopter suicide mission?” Probably the fact that few helicopters could carry enough ordnance to severely damage a skyscraper or a significant part of a major city’s population. (It should be remembered that the 1993 World Trade Center and 1995 Oklahoma City terrorist attacks were carried out via massive bombs placed inside trucks.) HNCNYC claims a membership of more than 20,000 and has long been a vocal foe of any and all operations by rotorcraft over the Big Apple.