Kim Cody, president of the Greater Whitestone Taxpayer Civic Association, said he began hearing the whipping of low flying helicopter blades early last spring at his home on 12th Avenue between 149th and 150th streets.
“It’s mostly during the weekend,” Cody said. “You’re just sitting in the backyard and trying to have a conversation, and you have to just stop and the kids are constantly looking up at them.”
At peak hours over the weekend, Cody says they pass over his home, disrupting family outings and barbecues every five minutes.
State Senator Tony Avella and Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz were joined by members of the Malba Gardens Civic Association and Whitestone residents on Monday afternoon to call for a review of helicopter routes over the neighborhood.
“Residents in this area who have already been dealing with a significant increase in airplane noise are now being saddled with an equally unbearable increase in helicopter noise,” Avella said.
According to Avella, there is currently no real oversight for helicopter routes or security at heliports.
Avella and Simanowitz recently wrote a letter to the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), The Eastern Region Helicopter Council, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security asking for a meeting to discuss the lack of security and oversight of helicopter routes.
So far, only the Eastern Region Helicopter Council has reached out willing to meet and discuss the issue.
“There must be true accountability from our government to clearly define security parameters so the public is protected, as well as alleviating the noise pollution for our constituents,” Simanowitz said.
Linda Ermann lives on 150th Street between 3rd and 5th avenues, and has noticed that a majority of the helicopters are headed out toward Long Island on Friday afternoons.
“It can be every 20 minutes, but on a holiday weekend forget about it,” she said. “They’re like a string of pearls.”