In the wake of the fatal air disaster over the Hudson River, where a tourist helicopter and a private plane collided, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced plans to boost safety over the area. The federal agency proposed dividing the airspace between aircraft flying over the river from those taking off from local heliports or seaplane bases. This would require pilots to use specific radio frequencies for the Hudson River and the East River, as well as anti-collision devices.
Long-time critics of the FAA’s lax regulations over the Hudson River—there are no rules for flights below 1,000 feet—have called the proposals as inadequate.
“The FAA took a first step but more has to be done,” said Sen. Charles Schumer in a statement. “Not to require flight plans nor have controllers in charge of airspace below 1,000 feet means that this plan is insufficient.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler pressed the FAA to require all aircraft that seat less than 10 people to install the Traffic Collision Avoidance System and to track all aircraft flying below 1,100 feet over the Hudson River.
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