Monday, August 10, 2009

Renewed Concerns re Choppers over Roosevelt Island?

The collision this past weekend over the Hudson River between a small plane and helicopter may or may not result in any changes to how air traffic is controlled or regulated along the Hudson or East Rivers.

As I have stated before Roosevelt Island residents have a vested interest in such regulations as there are always helicopters passing right over our buildings as opposed to traffic being regulated to pass only over the water on either side of the island.

As a result of the October 2006 Cory Lidle plane crash, federal officials "banned all aircraft except seaplanes and helicopters from the East River corridor without specific permission from air traffic controllers." which certainly helped to mitigate fears of another such incident as the Lidle crash but the helicopters continue to pass over head with few additional restrictions.

Island residents with deeper histories on the island will also recall the 1997 chopper that crashed moments after taking off from the heliport that used to sit just North of the Queensboro Bridge. I don't recall now how prominently that crash contributed to the eventual shutdown of that heliport but it had to eb factor. [It's most recent incarnation was as the Roundabout Dog Run which we all see daily from the Tram looking North on the Manhattan side of the QB Bridge.]

Should residents use the Hudson River tragedy to refocus our concerns regarding the safety of the skies above Roosevelt Island? How can we not.

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