The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) plans to sell its two Sikorsky S-76s, on the grounds that it cannot justify their annual operating cost of $3.7 million.
The decision was prompted by expectations of a $39 million budget shortfall this year. “Our revenues have been down, as have thos e of other agencies,” said a Port Authority spokesman.
The decision has put three pilots out of work. Three mechanics, an operations agent and two maintenance supervisors will be retained and reassigned, the spokesman said.
The authority noted in its announcement that a study of 258 security flights between August 2008 and April 2009 found 89 percent uncovered “no unusual activity.” For future coverage, the authority will rely on the New York Police Department, the New Jersey State Police and the city of Newark, N.J., all of which operate helicopters.
The two helicopters, one 1984 model and one 2003 model, are expected to bring in $8.5 million at sale.