Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants the FAA to make the controversial North Shore helicopter route over Long Island permanent, albeit with a few changes. The offshore route became mandatory in 2012 but is scheduled to expire under a sunset provision on August 6 unless the FAA renews it.
Schumer wants the route amended to extend the overwater route east past Orient Point and Shelter Island to mitigate the added noise the route created at transition points, particularly near North Hempstead, to airports on the South Fork. This includes East Hampton Airport, which handles 65 percent of summertime helicopter traffic on the island.
Separately, Schumer said he favors creation of a mandatory South Shore Route that helicopter pilots maintain would increase the helicopter noise footprint near East Hampton Airport. While Schumer maintains the North Shore route has cut helicopter noise, empirical resident complaint data contradicts this assertion, according to the aircraft noise measurement firm PlaneNoise. “If the goal of the North Shore route was to provide noise mitigation, it has failed,” said PlaneNoise CEO Robert Grotell.