It’s a thrilling ride for tourists, who only have to put up with the roar of the helicopter for a short time but for New York City locals living along the Hudson River, it’s the most annoying part of their weekend. Let the battle begin!
Manhattan’s downtown heliport is one busy place on the weekends, especially for tourists hoping to get an bird’s eye view of the Big Apple and zip and zoom around famous monuments like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Roughly 200 helicopter flights take off from there a day, roughly 10 hours of chopper noise and generates around $33 million in tourism revenue.
But is it worth it? The local residents say, “No way.” The noise has caused locals to band together to create a group called Stop the Chop NYNJ, which has support from 10 riverside mayors. Around 2 million residents are disturbed by the tourist helicopters in New York City and neighbouring New Jersey. One US Senator, Bob Mendez, warned the FAA that if it couldn’t stop the tourist helicopters, then he would take it to Congress.
As for city officials, they’re standing right on the fence, with disgruntled locals on one side, and millions of tourist dollars on the other. Whose side would you choose if you were mayor?