Aviation Groups Unite To Oppose NYC Helo Restrictions

 - March 16, 2021, 6:37 PM

AOPA, GAMA, HAI, NATA, NBAA, and the Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC) have joined forces to oppose two New York City bills they said would severely restrict helicopter operations there. ERHC chairman Tom McCormick estimated that passing these two bills could affect as many as 80 percent of NYC helicopter operations.

Bill No. 2026 would prohibit operations at city-managed heliports by most charter helicopters if they are not certified to meet FAR Part 36 Stage 3 noise standards. Military, police, newsgathering, and medevac flights would be exempt. McCormick explained that “very few helicopters are actually certified under Stage 3," but added that many Stage 2 helicopters are quiet enough to meet Stage 3 requirements.

Bill No. 2067 would require operators of the city’s heliports to collect documentation from every helicopter that uses the facility, including its airworthiness certificate, registration, inspection reports, and the route to and from the NYC landing site. NBAA pointed out that the FAA prohibits municipalities from burdening aircraft operators with documentation or other requirements that are additional to, or duplicative of, federal standards.

The associations’ letter to the chair of the city's economic development committee further emphasized that the proposals are preempted by federal law. It states that only the FAA has the ability to regulate aviation over the city and the terms of access to public-use heliports.