Residents complain about Hudson tourist helicopters; pilots stand by their right to fly

Residents say tourist helicopters have become a menace to people living along the Hudson, and last weekend's emergency landing in the river is just another

Residents say tourist helicopters have become a menace to people living along the Hudson, and last weekend's emergency landing in the river is just another reason to ban them.

Residents say tourist helicopters have become a menace to people living along the Hudson, and last weekend's emergency landing in the river is just another reason to ban them. (7/3/13)

LINDEN - Residents say tourist helicopters have become a menace to people living along the Hudson, and last weekend's emergency landing in the river is just another reason to ban them.

Michael Roth built New York Helicopter Charter himself, so he's not happy with the idea of a ban on tourist helicopters. "Why pick on helicopters? What is it that disagrees with them?"

The helicopters fly for about 10 minutes at a time and are constantly coming and going.

High-rise dwellers say the choppers are a constant presence and fly very close to the waterfront buildings.

Anne Ragoski says they've been fighting the issue for years, and know the tours are sold as packages to overseas tourists who have no concept about whether it bothers people on the ground.

Morgan Kavanaugh trains helicopter pilots and says there are plenty of restrictions on where and how they fly.
"We have to fly to the strict standards the FAA puts out there so you can fly or you can't, follow the rules," Kavanaugh says. "If the FAA changes them then we'll abide by them."

Congressman Albio Sires says he gets more and more complaints about the helicopters, and is considering meeting with the FAA to ask for a ban on tourist helicopters coming from New York to the New Jersey side.

Lawmakers have scheduled a press conference for Monday to discuss the tourist helicopter issue.

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