NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday called for an end to all non-essential helicopter flights over Manhattan as he hinted that he was leaning towards phasing out all tourist flights in New York City.
As WCBS 880’s Joe Avellar reports, there've been complaints about helicopter noise and air traffic for years, but the most recent helicopter crashes have galvanized political support for ending many of the flights.
“There should be no non-essential flights over Manhattan. We had that horrible incident some months ago when the helicopter crashing on the top of the building. The only helicopters that should be going over Manhattan should be if it is public service, uniform services, things that are essential,” the mayor said on his WNYC broadcast.
Three New York lawmakers – Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney and Nydia Velazquez – have already signed on to sponsor legislation to ban all tourist and ride-sharing helicopters from flying in city airspace.
The mayor says he hasn't read the bill yet, but is a fan of the plan.
“We have, in my administration, greatly reduced tourist flights,” de Blasio said. “I'm very interested in what we can do to reduce or phase out tourist flights.”
WCBS 880 reached out to several helicopter tourist services for their reaction and have yet to receive a response.