By Carol Tannenhauser
“[On Friday], the New York State Legislature passed the ‘Stop the Chop’ Act (S.7493A/A8473A), sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried of Manhattan,” a release from Assembly Member Gottfried’s office announced. “This bill will reduce the number of non-essential helicopter flights across Manhattan and allows for compensation for noise pollution by rotorcraft. Having passed both houses, it will be sent to Governor Hochul for her signature.”
New Yorkers filed 21,620 complaints about helicopter noise to 311 in 2021, more than double the 10,359 filed in 2020, according to the Daily News. “And 2020′s figure was triple the 3,332 chopper noise complaints filed in 2019, city data show. One third of the complaints filed last year were from the Upper West Side.”
“After years of advocacy and numerous false starts at every level of government, this is the first state legislative effort to reduce helicopter noise in New York State,” the release continued. “The ‘Stop the Chop’ Act will allow the New York Attorney General and those whose use and enjoyment of their property or public parks a cause of action against helicopter companies that create an unreasonable level of noise at ground level.”
“It is our hope that the threat of a lawsuit will stem the plague of sightseeing flights coming from New Jersey that hover over Central Park and ruin the park for thousands of residents and tourists for the enjoyment of a select few,” Assembly Member Gottfried said. “Our ‘Stop the Chop’ Act will also prohibit use of the Hudson River Park heliport by helicopters that engage in sightseeing.”
Both he and Senator Hoylman thanked “the numerous New Yorkers, advocates, our colleagues, and other elected officials who helped get us this far, especially ‘Stop the Chop NY/NJ’ for its unrelenting advocacy on this important issue.”
Thanks to Sue Susman for the tip.