FAA Moves Quickly To Modify Hudson River Airspace
The FAA yesterday announced plans to modify the airspace over the Hudson River, in response to the August 8 midair of a Piper PA-32R and Liberty Helicopters Eurocopter AS 350B2 that killed nine. “The New York Airspace Task Force chartered on August 14 developed a comprehensive series of recommendations that we plan to implement as quickly as possible,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “These steps will significantly enhance safety in this busy area and create crystal-clear rules for all of the pilots who operate there.” The safety enhancements, if adopted, would restructure the airspace; mandate pilot operating rules; create a new entry point into the Hudson River airspace from Teterboro; standardize New York area charts; and develop new training for pilots, air traffic controllers and businesses that operate helicopters and aircraft in the area. One of the most significant changes will parse the Hudson River airspace into altitude corridors that separate aircraft flying over the river from those operating to and from local heliports or seaplane bases. The FAA said it expects to complete and publish any changes to have them in effect by November 19, in time to be incorporated in new standardized aeronautical charts that will highlight the Class B VFR corridor. The NTSB issued Hudson River corridor recommendations last Thursday; the FAA said its proposed actions meet or exceed the NTSB’s recommendations.