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Tourist helicopter flights in NYC to be reduced

The Economic Development Corporation announced on Sunday that

The Economic Development Corporation announced on Sunday that tourist helicopter flights would be reduced by 30,000 per year. Photo Credit: iStock

The city is slashing in half the number of tourist helicopter flights that will be allowed to take off next year, following complaints from Manhattan residents.

The agreement, announced by the Economic Development Corporation on Sunday, will eliminate 30,000 flights a year. It includes all trips on Sundays, as well as over Governors Island. It will go into effect by Jan. 2017.

Some City Council members had proposed banning the helicopter trips altogether.

Downtown Manhattan residents had been complaining for years that the helicopters were too noisy, and ruining their quality of life.

For the remaining flights, the helicopter companies will remain at their East River base at Pier 6 in lower Manhattan.

“The nonstop din of helicopters has been a major quality of life issue for New Yorkers living near heavily trafficked routes,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement.

The EDC will continue to monitor the companies’ activity, and can make future changes to their flights.

The Helicopter Tourism and Jobs Council, which advocates for the industry backed the agreement.

“This agreement will allow tour operators to continue providing good jobs for New Yorkers and more than $50 million in annual economic impact to the City,” said deputy director Sam Goldstein in a statement.


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