Mandatory Helo Routing Rule Proposed for Long Island
Yesterday the FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would mandate that all helicopters transiting the Long Island area of New York VFR use the North Shore Route. A voluntary overwater route was created in 2008 to address area resident noise complaints. The new rule would require civil helicopters flying along Long Island’s northern shoreline to follow this overwater route between waypoint VPLYD and Orient Point. It directs helicopters to remain over water at a minimum altitude of 2,500 feet. The route’s creation grew out of a 2007 public meeting of stakeholders, including the Eastern Region Helicopter Council, led by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.). However, the voluntary route has not stemmed the noise complaints. Schumer charged Monday that up to 50 percent of area helicopter traffic does not currently use the route. The route is published on the helicopter route chart for New York (page 29472). The public comment period closes June 25.