By Tony Avella and Michael Simanowitz
To: Carmine Gallo, Regional Administrator – Eastern Region, Federal Aviation Administration
We are reaching out to you concerning the July 25, 2016 notification in the Federal Register that the Federal Aviation Administration is issuing a “final rule” extending the “North Shore Helicopter Route” for another four years without the normal 30-day notice that would give the community the opportunity to comment on this decision.
As you know, the tremendous increase in helicopter traffic and related noise impacts has been a significant issue in our respective districts for the past several years.
In 2015, our offices participated in two lengthy conference calls that were organized on behalf of the local civic organization, We Love Whitestone, where efforts to mitigate these noise impacts were discussed. It is our understanding that the FAA indicated a willingness to continue to consider ways to mitigate the excessive noise, including possible changes to the routes utilized by helicopters transiting between New York City and points east on Long Island in order to “share the burden” amongst all those communities affected by the increased noise.
Given the FAA’s previous efforts to work with the community, we find it quite disturbing that the FAA would take this accelerated action to extend the “North Shore” route without any further discussion or request for input from the impacted communities.
We are respectfully requesting an immediate meeting with you to discuss this “final action”.