Long Island, NY - October 4, 2018 - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) issued the following statement after Senate passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 302), which included his legislative proposal that passed the House of Representatives last week to require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to reassess the North Shore Route (NSR) to address the noise impact on affected communities, improve altitude enforcement, and consider alternative routes, including an all water route over the Atlantic Ocean. With enactment of this legislation, which is headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law, the FAA will be required to hold a public hearing on the NSR in impacted communities and open a public comment period, both of which the FAA has refused to do in recent years as the NSR has been renewed by the FAA under emergency authority without consulting the public or local lawmakers.
“I applaud my Senate colleagues for passing my proposal that requires the FAA to reassess the North Shore Route and pursue an all water route over the Atlantic Ocean,” said Congressman Zeldin. “For years, the FAA has ignored the concerns of residents, from the North Shore Route’s planning to its continued use, while day to day quality of life has suffered due to the persistent issue of helicopter noise on the East End. Finally, the FAA is forced to listen. I urge the President to sign this important proposal into law.”
Southold Supervisor Scott Russell said, “The ever increasing number of helicopters over Southold has devastated the quality of life for our residents. Southold has become a doormat to the helicopter operators as they head to and from the Hamptons. Rep. Zeldin's amendment is a common sense approach that will provide immediate relief to our community. I urge the FAA to follow the Congressman's lead and help him restore the quality of life of the people of Southold.”
Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said, “Congratulations to Congressman Zeldin for getting this much needed legislation through the House. Anything that will provide relief from helicopter noise will be welcome news for residents of the region.”
Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said, “Helicopter noise during the busy summer months has exponentially increased over Riverhead in the past several years. These helicopters tend to fly the same routes when navigating overland resulting in helicopters passing overhead every 5 to 10 minutes. The noise created is so loud and disturbing that it can drown out your TV, or even shake pictures off your wall if you are inside. And outside is even worse, requiring you to stop your conversations until after the helicopters have passed. The intended routes for these flights is to avoid the land, and head out over the water to reach their destinations. In practice this is not what happens. I applaud this bipartisan effort to finally bring relief to Riverhead residents.”
Shelter Island Supervisor Gary Gerth said, “This is one of the most important issues for the residents of Shelter Island, who have been adversely impacted by persistent helicopter noise. This common sense legislation is great news for Shelter Island and our entire region and will have such a positive impact on Long Islanders day-to-day quality of life.”
East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said, “Congressional attention to the problem of aircraft noise over the East End is certainly appreciated, and warranted. We look forward to continued discussions and meaningful improvement.”