Jerry Nadler on Ferguson, Helicopters, and More

Monday, August 18, 2014

Are choppers a New York nusiance? US Representative Jerrold Nadler authored a letter to Mayor de Blasio with signatures by many area elected officials calling for the end of tourist helicopter flights from the city-owned Downtown Heliport. He discusses. Plus: What Congress can do, if anything, about the situation in Ferguson, MO.


Jerrold Nadler

Comments [28]

Kevin P. from Homecrest, Brooklyn

Ron Johnson is a Missouri Highway Patrol Captain. He's not with the National Guard as the congressman stated twice.

Aug. 19 2014 12:54 PM
Mark Kleinman from Upper West side

Why assume that the tourists who are not in the helicopters don't mind all the noise as well? For all we know the helicopters could be driving away more tourists than they attract. Sure, the tourists might just be laughing at us and saying to themselves, how can people live like this, but I would think many others are saying let's make a point of not coming back here. But the real issue is - is New York designed for the tourists or for the residents. It's not true that New York so noisy anyway that the extra helicopter whirring doesn't make much of a difference. Those of us who know the city know that the side streets are actually quite quiet and so we make a point of living there. The helicopters have destroyed those sanctuaries and it's now noisy everywhere. The other place to get away from city noise used to be the parks, but they now fell like war zones with the continuous helicopters overhead and so I no longer use them, which is a great loss to me. Also, in today's world most people are able to work from home at least part of the time and so the noise is not only disturbing their sense of peace but there ability to work as well. How is that helping the economy of the city?

Aug. 18 2014 02:47 PM
Mary from Brooklyn

I commend Mr. Nadler for his persistence on this issue. This is neither a class-driven nor NIMBY complaint at all. It is a health and safety crisis for many of us that live along the busy copter paths.

Helicopter blades 'chop' air, which creates specific types of noises that are perceived differently by the ear from those of most planes, trains and automobiles. Much of the noise created by chopped air has been proved harmful, especially within certain hertz (frequency) ranges.

This is not to argue that loud elevated trains, jet planes, and heavy trucks are OK. Industry needs to apply current technologies to all transport vehicles that travel through populated areas. That said, for health, safety and sanity, helicopters should be used on an only-as-needed basis. Tourist helicopters do not qualify.

Aug. 18 2014 12:26 PM
Joyce Stickney from Brooklyn

i lived in Brooklyn Heights about five blocks from Brooklyn Bridge for many years, till 2011. I still live in Brooklyn. The helecopters were often constant, always very loud, hovered for often 50 minutes (I tracked them some times). I applaud Jerry Nadler for trying to get this huge sound polution taken care of, this fight has been going on for years and the noise pollution in Brooklyn has gotten worse in Brooklyn not better.

The helecopters would start when it was still dark in the morning. I was woken up often by the noise. It is a noise you can't get away from.

Untill a few years ago there was no way to complain about the helecopters. Now you can use 311 but it is not a complaint that will be dealt with just a comment. Also when you contact 311 it asks if it is a police helecopter or other. Most of the the time that is impossible to tell.

Go to Brooklyn Bridge Park and you will see helecopters taking off and landing every few minutes from lower Manhattan. You will see five or more in the sky at the same time.

This is not a problem of gentrification, noise pollution has been proven to stress everybody.

Why year after year do New Yorkers have to fight this battle so a small group of companies, that have no consideration for us, will make money? With all that NYC offers noone comes to New York only to take a short helecopter ride.

Aug. 18 2014 11:42 AM
Bob from Westchester

Just for fun, could the WNYC fact checkers find out if Congressman Nadler voted for the law which provides all the surplus military equipment to local police departments - in other words, find out if he helped create the problem that he is now so appalled by.

Aug. 18 2014 11:28 AM
JG from Washington Heights

Tourist helicopters are also disruptive in Northern Manhattan. I live on RSD in Washington Heights, and we, too, hear the droning day in, day out. While I've learned to tune it out during the day, I was awakened at 3:00 AM the other night by the drone of two helicopters over my bedroom. Security? I doubt it!

Aug. 18 2014 11:20 AM

This is a very real problem for those of us that live along the Hudson waterfront on the NJ side. It is not uncommon to see 5 or 6 helicopters overhead during peak hours of weekend operation or even on beautiful summer days midweek. It most certainly sounds like you are living near an air force base, the resonance over the beautiful Hudson river is loud. I am not a well to do urban resident with balcony and vast river views, I live in a simple walk up residence blocks from the river. I have also lived here for a very long time and am well accustomed to city noise. The volume of copter traffic is escalating dramatically, and to add insult to injury, they fly lower in altitude when cycling south, bordering the NJ side.

Aug. 18 2014 11:20 AM
Jim from Manhattan

Great Nadler going to bat for luxury high rise constituents noise issues but NYC had as many shot in 15 hours this weekend as in a full week in Fergeson.

Aug. 18 2014 11:14 AM
Mary Perillo from downtown

Thanks Congressman Nadler,

I live just south of the WTC and louder than the vehicular traffic, louder than the 11.5million tourists a year and the 300K plus workers and even most of the WTC construction sound that surrounds us here in the south Greenwich Street area are not nearly as loud as the 3 or 4 helicopters ast a time that loop around from the Statue of Liberty to the WTC. With the windows closed.

I cant imagine the tourist dollars from that are worth how loud it is when you are trying to enjoy the "serenity" of the Hudson, which is the one place the traffic and constuction are mostly out of earshot.

We do NOT need another tourist amusement at the expense of New York residents.

Aug. 18 2014 11:11 AM
TJ from Brooklyn

I recently moved to Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. The all new and improved Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is beautiful and a joy, is UNBEARABLE on the weekends with the noise of tourist helicopters. My family and I unfortunately avoid the park solely because of this reason.

Aug. 18 2014 11:08 AM
Clifford Compton from Clinton, NJ

I think the majority of people have absolutely NO IDEA of how the regulations regarding the flight in and around Manhattan work. The noise is no worse than a garbage truck or a tractor trailer. People are just wanting to get on a soap box about something, and this is purely low hanging fruit. RELAX people. Whats will this nanny state ban next......unreal.....
(pilot and aerial photographer)

Aug. 18 2014 11:05 AM
BK from Hoboken

To caller Pat-
Come to hoboken on a weekend and tell me there isn't any sightseeing choppers. If you want the revenue from this, let's change all flight patterns so they go over your head all day long on the NYC side of the Hudson instead of mine in hoboken.

Aug. 18 2014 11:04 AM
JR from NYC

I agree. The helicopter noise was unbearable when I lived in Alphabet City (comment about "like being in Vietnam" is right).

Aug. 18 2014 11:03 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

@ mgduke from manh: It would be nice if you'd stay on topic. :-)

Current caller: If you think the helicopters make too much noise, try walking down McDonald Avenue with a cell phone when the F train is passing by.

Aug. 18 2014 11:01 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Actually, I like the idea of tourist helicopters, though there may be a better place for take-offs and landings.

That said, I'm sure the City is making its fair share of revenue from this enterprise, as the landing pads are owned by NYC and probably rented out at a substantial fee, so I can't see anyone in City government being really anxious to stem the tide.

The best bet is to come to a reasonable compromise. Any diplomats in the audience?

Aug. 18 2014 10:59 AM

More annoying are the media helicopters that circle for hours! Please push to have these replaced with drones as soon as possible!

Aug. 18 2014 10:58 AM
CATHY from Hoboken, NJ

We have constant helicopter noise up and down the Hoboken and Jersey CIty waterfronts in NJ. THere is not a moment of quiet in our waterfront parks, walkways and cafes. In addition, I witnessed the crash several years ago and saw the debris fall on our waterfront and on Steven's Tech campus

Aug. 18 2014 10:58 AM
BK from Hoboken

"One every ten minutes"?!
Try one every 30 seconds. I can sit on my balcony and see 2-4 in the air within 1-2 miles of my home AT ALL TIMES on the weekends.

Aug. 18 2014 10:58 AM
mgduke from manh

I support Mr Nadler’s position on the helicopters, but please ask him about a much more crucial current issue for NYC.

Remembering that Israel’s bombing of civilian apartment buildings in Lebanon in 1982 was what prompted bin Laden to plan and carry out the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 against NYC’s Twin Towers, please ask Mr Nadler his opinion of the visit last week by NY Gov Cuomo, Assemblyman Silver, Sen Skelos, and Sen Klein to proclaim New York’s “unity [and] solidarity” with Israel’s attacks on Gaza, which have killed well over a thousand innocent civilians including many hundreds of women and young children.

Given that Israel’s mass killings of civilians in Gaza may well be determined to be war crimes and crimes against humanity, and given the strong likelihood that Israel’s mass killings will prompt blowback terrorism, does Mr Nadler support or condemn the visit by NY government officials to trumpet NY unity with Israel’s mass killings of civilians in Gaza and to thereby put a target on NYC making us more likely than ever to be the victim of another retaliatory terrorist attack along the lines of 9/11/2001?

Aug. 18 2014 10:49 AM
Latin from from Manhattan

I live near West St and the helicopter noise is like I'm in the middle of the Viet Nam war! This goes for tourist and filming helicopters. I've called 311 several times and they're still whirling...enough please unless you can make a silent helicopter.

Aug. 18 2014 10:48 AM
rudeboy from Williamsburg

Helicopter noise is a nuisance and potential health hazard!

The minimum flight altitude should be at least doubled and has to be attained immediately(!) after start and until landing! Hey, the main feature of a helicopter is the capability of going straight up and down in midair!

On Governor's Island, which could otherwise be a sanctum from NYC noise, you are terrorized on average once(!) a minute by low flying helicopters from the heliport on the piers. I'm not kidding! I counted more than 60 helicopters within 1 hour! Sometimes there are 3 in the air simultaneously. This low flying noise terror needs to stop!

Aug. 18 2014 10:42 AM
rudeboy from Williamsburg

Helicopter noise is a nuisance and potential health hazard!

The minimum flight altitude should be at least doubled and has to be attained immediately(!) after start and until landing! Hey, the main feature of a helicopter is the capability of going straight up and down in midair!

On Governor's Island, which could otherwise be a sanctum from NYC noise, you are terrorized on average once(!) a minute by low flying helicopters from the heliport on the piers. I'm not kidding! I counted more than 60 helicopters within 1 hour! Sometimes there are 3 in the air simultaneously. This low flying noise terror needs to stop!

Aug. 18 2014 10:41 AM
Daniel A from Whitestone, Queens

It's not just the tourist helicopters!

Here in Northeast Queens, we are subjected to dozens of low-flying helicopters a day shuttling rich folks from Manhattan to The Hamptons or Bridgeport (these aren't tourists). There is no curfew and just this morning they were flying over at 5AM.

This is all due to the implementation of a new route two years ago that forced all helicopters to the Long Island Sound for travel eastbound. The only problem is that it concentrated all helicopters over the same Queens neighborhoods to reach the sound.

Bottom line: Noise abatement sometimes means just moving the noise to a less well-connected area.

Aug. 18 2014 10:32 AM
BK from Hoboken

This isn't even an NYC issue- the helicopters are directly over the NJ coastline. These tour companies operate out of NYC to the financial benefit of people in NYC bit those of us in NJ pay the price with constant noise. You can hear them from 1-2 miles away as they approach and then another 1-2 miles after. On a weekend, in a one hour span, you are lucky to get maybe 3-4 minutes of complete quiet. This is no exaggeration. It is terrible. Now there seems to be a helicopter flight path that turns west at the NJ Transit tracks in Hoboken and proceeds over Rt 139 into Jersey City. Many "cut the corner" and dly roght over my home in the southern part of hoboken. I have seen helicopters under 200 feet over Rt 139 in JC. It's disconcerting.

Aug. 18 2014 10:15 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Maybe Mr. Nadler should ban crossing the street -- because a pedestrian got killed.

Aug. 18 2014 09:45 AM
Mia from West New York, NJ

As I type this I can hear one helicopter flying over my West New York home.

The weekends are the worst. They fly up the Hudson and down over the homes on the Hudson County waterfront just seconds apart from each other.

My neighbors and I have been doing all we can to stop these unnecessary trips. They are not only noise polluters but also safety threats. We've even commented amongst ourselves that no one will really do anything to make them stop until one chopper goes down on one of our homes and several tourists and local residents are killed.

Aug. 18 2014 09:27 AM
Lenore from Manhattan

Please ask Nadler how he evaluates the actions of Hamas and Israel in Gaza.

Aug. 18 2014 09:25 AM
Claire Silberman from Brooklyn

Mayoral intransigence on this issue is inexplicable. He's known about it since he was Public Advocate. Health studies --- and even the DC Circuit Court of Appeals -- acknowledge the negative impact of helicopter drone on the people below. This is "nonessential" travel, and tourists have plenty to do on NYC, but somehow this very disruptive industry and its apologists are allowed to be as disruptive as they want (this is NYC; it's loud; get over it), with absolutely no thought that even tourists wouldn't want 300+ flights over their own homes every day! The EDC, which the Mayor lets control far too many issues, comes up with easily refuted reasons to support the helicopters and, so far, has arrogantly ignored even the 20+ officials who want a ban. Time to rein in the EDC; time for deBlasio to work for communities instead of treating them like the disloyal opposition------ thanks, Rep Nadler and his colleagues, who keep working for New Yorkers instead of a special corporate interest!

Aug. 18 2014 08:00 AM

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