You’ve probably realized the past week and a half has been a busy one for news stories in our area. Some (like the fire at 465 Ocean Avenue that injured four, the two PS 315 students accused of poisoning their teacher, and yesterday’s school bus pyrotechnics) have attracted borough- or citywide media attention–and, accordingly, swarms of helicopters. Neighbors have noticed, and so have we.
The New York City Helicopter Sightseeing Plan forbids sightseeing tour flights over Brooklyn, so we can conclude that the noise over our area is from news and NYPD aircrafts. Certainly some helicopter activity is necessary–particularly police flyovers, or news outlets scoping out traffic or even grabbing a quick shot of something like the exterior of PS 315–but often times the hovering seems a bit excessive.
“[Helicopters] seem to hover over our neighborhood at least once a week and this morning’s hovering was particularly noisy and drawn out,” wrote neighbor Paul McKenna last week after the PS 315 incident, and who says the chopper noise near his home lasted from about 6-8am. Who needs an alarm?
Residents of Harlem and Washington Heights have recently raised the issue of constant helicopter disturbances in their area, some of which are due to sightseeing tours–but most of which, says The New York Daily News, are due to NYPD and news activity. 311 gives New Yorkers the option to lodge complaints about any kind of helicopter, be it sightseeing, NYPD, or news gathering–for flying too low, hovering, or even “passing by.”
In addition to 311 complaints, if you are concerned about local chopper noise, it might be worth reaching out to elected officials. The aforementioned Upper Manhattan residents taking issues with constant helicopter noise have an ally in their City Councilmember Mark Levine–so whether your local City Council representative is Mathieu Eugene or Jumaane Williams, getting in touch is never a bad idea.
Have you had issues with hovering helicopters in your neck of the woods? Do you think there’s a reasonable time limit for news aircrafts to linger over a scene, or that they should be discouraged in certain cases or at certain hours? Have you complained about local helicopter issues before? Or do you just not see the big deal?