The Eastern Region Helicopter Council recently joined several major aviation trade groups, pilots, and citizens in criticizing the FAA's proposed regulation imposing mandatory routes for helicopters operating on Long Island.
In formal comments filed before the FAA, the group called the FAA's proposal "flatly at odds with the federal government's limited role in addressing aircraft noise." The ERHC urged the FAA to work collaboratively with the helicopter industry to mitigate noise concerns, writing that, "The FAA should neither become a national clearing-house for local noise complaints, nor regulator in the first instance of local noise abatement procedures."The FAA's proposal would have the unintended effect of concentrating noise and traffic, to the detriment of safety," added Jeff Smith, Chairman of the Eastern Region Helicopter Council.
The FAA proposed rule has generated a firestorm of controversy. Virtually every major aviation trade group, including the ERHC, Helicopter Association International (HAI), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA), General Aviation Manufacturing Association (GAMA), and National Air Transport Association ((NATA) expressed opposition and sought a 60-day extension to prepare comments, which the FAA denied. Within 30 days, the agency has received 690 comments, with 86% opposing the proposed rule.