Avella, Residents Want Cap On Helicopter Rides to NYC


State Sen. Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Auburndale, Briarwood) spoke on Tuesday alongside concerned citizens over incessant noise resulting from helicopters coming into the city.

While standing in Francis Lewis Park, Avella highlighted the successful efforts in reducing airplane noise yet expressed worry over helicopters that are at lower altitudes. He and his staff researched an issue that constituents have observed for years.

The lawmaker said he is preparing a letter to two regulators, The New York City Economic Development Corporation and The Hudson River Trust, who handle landing sites for helicopters.

He desired several changes that include a cap on helicopter flights and verifying if such aircrafts are flying at appropriate levels.

“If we find there are bad actors, they should be prohibited from flying at those altitudes,” he said.

Sen. Tony Avella

Avella suspected that, if such a cap would exist, it may increase the price of riding helicopters for riders. However, he felt they would be able a potential surge in prices.

“Anyone taking a helicopter rides from the Hamptons can afford it,” he said.

George Mirtsopoulos, Vice President of We Love Whitestone Civic, said he first followed the issue four years ago and shared his frustrations with the helicopters flying over his home.

“They fly over at lower altitudes. They’re so loud that your house literally shakes sometimes. The amount is ridiculous because you get 30 to 40 an hour at peak hours,” said Mirtsopoulos.

Warren Schreiber, Chair of the NYCAR-LGA Airport Committee, said the rides are not necessary as many riders the service for recreational use.

“For their enjoyment, the people underneath those flight pads are being victimized,” he said.

A representative for the EDC said it anticipated a letter from State Sen. Avella. A spokesperson for the Hudson River Trust did not respond by press time.