The Helicopter Association International (HAI) recently filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals seeking to eliminate the mandatory North Shore Route for helicopters over New York’s Long Island. The FAA mandated the route in July last year after political pressure from U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). HAI has long argued that the North Shore Route is unsafe and that its imposition violates several laws.
Two aviation-prominent U.S. representatives are not happy with acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta’s implementing the mandatory North Shore VFR helicopter route over Long Island. In a letter to Huerta, Reps. John Mica (R-Fla.) and Tom Petri (R-Wisc.), the chairmen of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its aviation subcommittee, respectively, accuse him of bending to “outside pressures, including political ones” while failing to address “troubling safety concerns” the route creates, mainly because a considerable portion of it is over water.
The hotly debated North Shore Route over New York’s Long Island will be mandatory for at least the next two years. The route was added to the New York helicopter chart in 2008 and operators were encouraged to use it voluntarily. However, local politicians, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), pressed Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the FAA to make it mandatory. Operators have expressed concern that a substantial part of the route is over water. The rule mandating the route will lapse in two years unless the FAA takes further action.
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) is contemplating filing a lawsuit challenging the mandatory North Shore VFR helicopter route over New York’s Long Island that the FAA recently enacted. The route becomes effective August 6 and has drawn fire from operators because a substantial portion of it is over water.
The Senate likely will take up a pair of amendments to the $52 billion federal highway bill (S.1813) beginning tomorrow that, if passed, would negatively affect the helicopter taxi and tour business nationwide.
A House/Senate conference committee removed language inserted by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) in the final FAA re-authorization bill that would have mandated helicopters transiting parts of Long Island to fly off its North Shore at a minimum altitude of 2,500 feet.
In a deft political maneuver that capitalizes on the perceived need of Congress to deliver election-year public works spending, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) attached an amendment today imposing helicopter flight restrictions in Long Island and Los Angeles to the $52 billion federal highway bill (S.1813). This amendment would mandate offshore routes for helicopters transiting the North and South sections of Long Island and require the FAA to develop more restrictive flight paths for civil helicopters operating over the Los Angeles basin.
After U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) inserted language into the FAA reauthorization bill to restrict helicopter routes on Long Island, observers predicted it was only a matter of time before other legislators followed suit elsewhere. Another member of Congress is now proposing specific legislation to regulate airspace in his district in an attempt to mollify special interests. U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) recently introduced H.R.
Two U.S. senators have inserted language into the FAA Reauthorization bill that circumvents the normal channels governing airspace regulation for specific areas in their home states. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) added an amendment to the bill that allows the National Park Service to stop air tours over Crater Lake National Park without first preparing an air tour management plan, as required in every other national park.
Two U.S. Senators have inserted language into the FAA Reauthorization bill that circumvents the normal channels governing airspace regulation for specific areas in their home states.
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