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Operators, FAA, law enforcement, airport representatives, Helicopter
Association International (HAI), and other stakeholders from the New York City–New Jersey region met last week at a joint FAA-HAI Helicopter Symposium to proactively address the concerns of residents with helicopter operations in their area.
Sound complaints were at the top of that list.
Jeff Smith, HAI’s current chair and the chief pilot with R.O.P. Aviation based in Teterboro, New Jersey, stresses the importance of helicopter operators, government officials, and the public collaborating to find workable solutions.
“Voluntarily taking action to bring stakeholders together to discuss options and implement solutions is the best way to ensure that the public’s concerns are addressed and that our aircraft keep flying,” he says.
Discussions at the symposium centered around several key themes: ensuring that citizens have their voices heard, finding solutions mutually agreeable to the public and industry, and enabling the public to access information that explains why those operators are flying.
A 2021 report from the Government Accountability Office regarding rotorcraft operations in and around the Washington, D.C. region suggested that sharing information about the types of helicopter missions being conducted in the airspace, including military, air ambulance, and law enforcement flights, would
address many of the public’s concerns.