New York's Airspace

Monday, August 10, 2009

On the heels of this weekend's helicopter/plane collision, a group of New York legislators called today for greater FAA regulation of New York City's airspace. WNYC reporter Lisa Chow was there. Also: Jeff Smith, chairman of the Eastern Region Helicopter Council, talks about what it's like to fly a helicopter over NYC -- and what greater FAA regulation might mean.


Lisa Chow and Jeff Smith

Comments [9]

sarah thompson from brooklyn

I have been aftraid of helicopters ever since that one fell off the pan am building way back when.
If there is anything even remotely newsworthy our airspace is buzzy with very loud police helicopters and lots of news copters.
If you call 311 you can not complain about helicopters (I wonder why considering our royal mayor is a pilot) If you try to make a noise complaint you are forwarded to aviation and a voice mail. I feel unheard - over the roar of blades.

Aug. 10 2009 01:11 PM
Pete from Bronx NY


I'm a past Air Force transport flight engineer familiar with Visual Flight Rules (VFR)see-and-avoid procedures. I had to remind many pilots I was flying with to exercise eyes-outside and conversation discipline when flying in VFR environments--especially hazardous when climbing out as this is like playing 3-D chess.

A scenario that might have led to the collision would be if the helicopter took off 90 degrees from the pier and looked left and right for conflicting traffic, before making a left ascending turn that began below the aircraft's altitude that resulted in the helicopter rising unexpectedly in front of the aircraft whose occupants and passengers were likely looking left and right distracted by the sights and not maintaining proper vigilance.

Aug. 10 2009 12:12 PM
Stella Katz from NYC

In today's NY Times, Mayor Bloomberg "said it [the policy of allowing small aircraft to fly virtually unregulated below 1,100 feet along the Hudson River corridor] would be unlikely to change in part because of its importance to tourism." Let him tell that to the families and friends of the victims of Saturday's crash.

Aug. 10 2009 12:10 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

this "aviation corridor" is first a recreational space for new yorkers--on the ground, and in the water. there is no place for helicopters to be taking off and landing over people (sometimes every five minutes or less) who seek solace in enjoying the waterfront. the park land designed up and down the hudson is no more appropriate place for heliports than central park. should we wait for there to be an air-to-ground catastrophe to end this idea that there's some sort of entitlement to helicopter pleasure seeking? move this melanoma to an airport, where it can be monitored properly.

Aug. 10 2009 12:02 PM
graham from UWS

Another reason to regulate choppers is that they are very noisy.

Aug. 10 2009 11:58 AM
paul from nyc

they are a real noise problem for residents.

Aug. 10 2009 11:57 AM
Olivia from Manhattan

I sit in a conference room with a sweeping view of the Hudson for a looong meeting every week and from the looks of it, the airspace is a complete circus. I sit there and watch and WINCE as helicopters and small planes fight for space. This needs to be seriously examined because after much observation of the airspace, I am sadly not at all surprised that this accident happened.

Aug. 10 2009 11:54 AM
Hugh from Brooklyn, NY

Radar for under 1100 feet would have to contend with NYC buildings -- hence the impossibility.

Worth noting that Michael full-of-himself Bloomberg asserted (on the day of the crash) that he saw no need for more regulation of airspace.

Astonishing. A man who's only claim to distinction is his greed proves yet again that he thinks he's an expert on everything.

Aug. 10 2009 11:53 AM
Sharon from Bronx

Is this crash any different from the somewhat inevitable car crashes that we see on highways far more often than plane crashes? Are we making more of this than we should?

Aug. 10 2009 11:51 AM

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