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Thu, May 27, 2010

FAA Issues NPRM On Long Island Helicopter Traffic

Responding To "Continued Complaints" By New York Residents

The FAA has published an NPRM in the Federal Register to require helicopter operators to use the New York North Shore Route when operating in that area of Long Island, New York. The North Shore Route was added to the New York Helicopter Route Chart in 2008 and the use of that route is currently voluntary.

New York public officials say they have continued to receive complaints regarding the adverse impact of helicopter noise on their communities. The FAA says in the NPRM that its intended effect is to maximize utilization of the existing route flown by helicopter traffic along the north shore of Long Island and reduce the noise impact on nearby communities.

New York public officials, including Senator Charles Schumer (D) and former Senator Hillary Clinton (D), and the FAA began working with stakeholders and industry groups to address the issue. Senator Charles Schumer and Representative Tim Bishop (D) conducted a meeting in October 2007 with the FAA, local helicopter operators and the airport proprietors to specifically address the noise complaints stemming from the north shore of Long Island. As a result of this meeting, a visual flight rules (VFR) helicopter route, the North Shore route, was designed for helicopters to use when transiting the area in order to lessen the noise impact on populated areas by remaining offshore and over the water. Since the route was developed for VFR flight, use of it is voluntary.

New York elected officials have advised the FAA the noise complaints continue in this area notwithstanding the North Shore route. The local FAA Flight Standards Division has also received the same complaints.


Senator Schumer

The proposed action would require civil helicopters along Long Island, New York’s northern shoreline to follow the published New York North Shore Route between the fixed waypoint VPLYD and Orient Point. The FAA is aware that several conditions may exist for which helicopter operators would need to deviate from the route. Therefore, provisions are included that take into consideration the wide variety of helicopters, their associated performance and mission profiles.

Comments are due to the FAA on this NPRM before June 25th, 2010.

FMI: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-12606.pdf

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