- The Washington Times
Friday, June 21, 2019

Nine Democratic lawmakers from New York called on the Federal Aviation Administration to stop allowing certain helicopters from flying into New York City airspace.

Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, Nydia Velazquez, Adriano Espaillat, Kathleen Rice, Grace Meng, Thomas Suozzi, Eliot Engel and José Serrano sent a letter Friday to acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell demanding the agency take more control over the city airspace.

Their letter highlights the recent incident where a helicopter crash-landed on the AXA Equitable Building, killing the pilot and triggering an evacuation of the building.

The lawmakers argued that high number of helicopter flights, mostly for tourism, in the city poses “intolerable risks” to the densely populated city.

“There is no justification for allowing tourists to joy-ride through our skies, enduring people below and adding to the heavy burden of noise pollution residents already endure,” they wrote.

The letter listed six helicopter crashes since 1997, most of which resulted in either serious injury or death.

“We are asking you to look at the history of fatal crashes and near-escapes and to take immediate action to ban all non-essential helicopter flights and immediate institute [temporary flight restrictions] on helicopter flights,” they wrote.

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