Sires, backed by local mayors, to meet with FAA in effort to ban tourist helicopters in Hudson County skies

HOBOKEN AND BEYOND – Congressman Albio Sires (D–8th Dist.) said on Monday that he is planning to meet with officials from the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington in an effort to have tourist helicopters from New York City banned on the Jersey side of the Hudson River. He said they pose a threat to the safety and quality of life of Hudson County residents.
Sires said that a helicopter crash in the Hudson River last Sunday was only the latest in a string of events that has raised concerns over the noise and safety issues associated with the helicopter tourism business. The issue has intensified recently, as helicopter density in the Hudson County skies has increased since tourist helicopters were banned on the East River last year.
Backed by officials from around Hudson County, including Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, North Bergen Mayor and State Sen. Nicholas Sacco (D–32nd Dist.), Mayor Gerald Drasheff of Guttenberg, Mayor Felix Roque of West New York, and Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, Sires said that the noise New Jersey residents must endure due to the tourist helicopter trade is unfair.
“We already deal with the Coast Guard and we already deal with Medivac helicopters, and we understand that,” he said. “Why should our residents bear the brunt of these helicopters just because people want to see the New York City skyline?”
Brian Wagner, a Hoboken resident who has been the public voice of discontent over the helicopters, added that he thought the best views of the skyline were from the ground.
“People should come over here and see our parks and rent a bike and ride the waterfront,” he said. “We’ve got great views, but they’re also views we want to enjoy on Saturdays with our families.”
Look for an expanded report on Congressmen Sires’ efforts in this weekend’s editions of The Hudson Reporter. – Dean DeChiaro

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