In the wake of an Aug. 8 collision between a fixed-wing airplane and a tourist helicopter above the Hudson River, West Side elected officials are re-igniting their call for federal regulation.
The Federal Aviation Administration does not regulate flight paths for aircrafts that fly below 1,100 feet, which includes many small aircrafts and helicopters that fly over the Hudson River.
“Every helicopter and general aviation aircraft should also be required to file flight plans, even for trips under 1,100 feet,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler in a statement. “In fact, we should give serious consideration to banning all flights below 1,100 feet until we can install radar systems that can track them.”
The Aug. 8 collision killed nine people.
Nadler, who was joined State Sen. Tom Duane, Borough President Scott Stringer and Council Member Gale Brewer, implored the FAA to impose Traffic Collision Avoidance System to alert pilots when another aircraft is dangerously close.
The elected officials also want the FAA to regulate all airspace above the Hudson River, which was dubbed the “Wild West” at a press conference.
Officials have previously called for new regulation when Upper West Siders complained about noise created by low-flying sightseeing helicopters.
“There are no mandated flight routes for the sightseeing helicopters in Manhattan. They fly as they choose, though they do have to land and take off over the water,” Jim Peters, FAA spokesperson told the West Side Spirit last December.
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