Hudson County officials say noise from NYC helicopter tours is disrupting residents

Sen. Bob Menendez is co-sponsoring a bill that would direct the FAA to study helicopter noise within a 15-mile radius of the Statue of Liberty National Monument

Amanda Eustice

Apr 16, 2024, 9:57 PM

Updated 39 days ago

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Hudson County officials say noise from NYC helicopter tours is disrupting residents
Summit resident Charles Wells says that he likes to come sit and work at the Hoboken waterfront whenever it is nice outside. But he says lately it's getting harder to enjoy his time outdoors because of noise coming from low-flying helicopters over the Hudson River.
"You’ve got to take a few conference calls and whenever a helicopter goes over you’ve got to hit mute or you've got to ask people to repeat things and it's just, it's very loud," said Wells.
It's an issue Hoboken Councilman Phil Cohen has been working for years to find a solution.
He says helicopter noise complaints spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that many helicopter flights in and around New York City are deemed "nonessential" - tourist, commuter and charter flights.
"They're going over our homes. On a day like today…a cloudless, beautiful day. There are tourists who for less than $100 can take a 20-minute tour of New York City without ever leaving New Jersey. That's how it's advertised,” says Cohen. “For the few seconds of Instagram video thousands and thousands of people are being disrupted.”
Cohen says the New York City Council held a hearing on six pieces of legislation to ban nonessential helicopter flights at city-owned Heliports.
Rep. Rob Menendez is co-sponsoring a bill that would direct the Federal Aviation Administration to study helicopter noise within a 15-mile radius of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. They would then examine potential solutions for diverting helicopters away from residential and recreational areas.
"We're encouraging New York City to act," said Cohen. "They have a heliport that they control. They have city parks where helicopters come in and out and they actually can regulate and eliminate."
Cohen says testimony is being taken until Friday on the issue. the hope is legislation passes banning some of the nonessential flights, which many believe will reduce the amount of noise residents hear.


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