NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some Long Island residents won’t have the quiet Fourth of July they had hoped for. A noisy neighbor will still be hanging around for a few more weeks.
It’s a joyride for some and a headache for others. Every summer commuters hop posh helicopter rides from Manhattan to the east end of Long Island for some rest and relaxation, creating the opposite down below for homeowners.
“You hear a helicopter coming minutes before it gets to you. Then it starts pounding on your windows, pounding on your head,” Craig Cooper told CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian.
Cooper was one of the first Long Islanders to complain about the ear-piercing noise. Thousands more followed.
“Everything in the house upstairs shakes,” Ellen Schaier said.
For years, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer has tried to quiet the skies, but his sponsored legislation failed in the House, so he drafted a rule with the Federal Aviation Administration.
The rule said helicopters will fly what he calls the “North Shore route” over the Long Island Sound and can no longer fly lower than 2,500 feet.
After more than six years working on the project, Schumer said the rule was supposed to take effect July 4.
Instead, on Tuesday, Schumer announced the regulations would go into effect in August.
But the Eastern Region Helicopter Council, which represents pilots, said the mandatory route won’t work. Helicopters will have to “fly over the same homes over and over again” to get to the water, according to the council.
When the council tested the route, it said complaints rose 360 percent.
Cooper admitted there’s no easy fix. But after years of noise, homeowners said they are ready for some peace and quiet.
Schumer said violating the rule will result in penalties and fines. Repeat offenders could lose their pilot’s license.