New York helicopter tours face chop from city council

Seeing New York from the air has become big business over the past few decades but the City Council is now planning to ban helicopter tours across its five boroughs in the near future.

Helicopter noise has become a major issue in New York as the City Council now makes plans to ban it altogether

Helicopter noise has become a major issue in New York as the City Council now makes plans to ban it altogether Image by tours10004

The principal reason for the move against this form of tourist trip is noise, but if this form of transport is proscribed, it could affect 200 people who currently work in the business out of the lower Manhattan heliport.

Helicopter tourism over New York has led to "Stop the Chop" group signing up 2,000 members

Helicopter tourism over New York has led to "Stop the Chop" group signing up 2000 members. Image by David Merret / CC BY 2.0

The Daily News reports exclusively that the bill is being drafted to give this burgeoning industry the chop despite the fact that it adds about $33 million to the economy of the Big Apple.

The authority has told the businesses in the heli-area what it plans to do with the bill, which is now imminent. Several council members have already gone public on the tourist flights and say they are backing their constituents who have complained about the incessant noises the flying generates.

Delia von Neuschatz, a Battery Park City homeowner, said the noise was driving her out of the area. She became so fed up with the constant onslaught of sounds overhead that she  formed a 'Stop the Chop'  in her attempt to ban the industry.

Her group of 2000 members want an end to the tourism flights because the coming and going of the helicopters are ruining the peace along the Hudson and East rivers. She claimed it was seriously disturbing the quality of city life in New York.

However, tour operators say they have done everything possible to lower noise pollution,  even taking the  decision to stop flying over land earlier in 2015.

The manager of the lower Manhattan heliport, Brian Tolbert who is also the spokesman for the pro-industry group Helicopter Matters, stressed that the helicopter industry has been good for the city, adding that the operators stick to the rules and try to avoid trouble.

The industry plans to fight this issue to the finish, emphasising that a lot of livelihoods are on the line if jobs go.

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