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.
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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.
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.
One of the chief architects of the 2003 demolition of Chicago’s Meigs Field has been arrested on federal bribery, corruption and fraud charges that include trying to sell the vacated U.S. Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama. John Harris, 46, was taken into FBI custody on December 9 along with Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.
• Congress took an eight-day break to celebrate the Fourth of July. However, the Senate continued its pro forma sessions to prevent President Bush making recess appointments from a long waiting list. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) instituted these proceedings early in this session so that Bush’s nominees would have to be submitted to the Senate for a vote of approval.
The FAA is confident that the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia airspace redesign will reduce delays and allow the agency to meet system demands, but some U.S. lawmakers are questioning the redesign plans. Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, and Reps.
U.S. Lawmakers Question NE Airspace Redesign The FAA is confident that the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia airspace redesign will reduce delays and allow the agency to meet system demands, but some U.S. lawmakers are questioning the redesign plans. Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, and Reps.