COMMENT: On Aug. 8, 2009, nine people (including five Italian tourists) died when a tourist helicopter taking off from the 30th Street Heliport collided with a small plane over the Hudson. An air traffic controller was determined to be partially at fault because he was talking with a friend at the time of the collision.
After the accident, air space rules were supposed to be tightened, but some critics say the new deal — which allows choppers and small aircraft in the same corridor between 1,000 and 1,300 feet up — actually increases the collision risk over the city.
Presumably city officials "know best," which is why the deal between the FAA and the helicopter services was consummated and not subject to hearings and reviews by all stakeholders. In the end, many decisions pertaining to the air safety of New York City residents and visitors is really only about money.
Admittedly, we all have choices to make in life, some good, some not so good. Yet, for our many loyal readers and their safety, please think twice before taking an optional chopper ride over New York City, as the sky is getting crowded.