NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio has been taking flight.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported exclusively, documents obtained by CBS2 show the mayor has dramatically increased helicopter travel around the city.
On Oct. 14 near dinnertime, an NYPD helicopter landed near the baseball field in Prospect Park. At the time, police were coy, saying they were transporting “a dignitary.”
That dignitary turned out to be Mayor de Blasio, who after hanging around his old Park Slope neighborhood, wanted to avoid traffic on a seven-mile trip to Queens.
Suddenly, there were questions. What was the man who bragged that riding helicopters was “not my thing” doing? And he had apparently suddenly decided that avoiding the city’s epic traffic jams was the way to go.
CBS2 filed a Freedom of Information of Act request, discovering that yes, Mayor de Blasio is now subscribing to the joys of flying.
NYPD records show that in 2014, his first year in office, de Blasio flew in a helicopter twice. In 2015, there were also two flights. So far in 2016, there are records of 18 flights – though several are on the same day.
Why the dramatic increase? The mayor blames it on the NYPD.
“NYPD decides how to transport the mayor from event to event,” said press secretary Eric Phillips.
Phillips was the same man who in January announced a reduction in tourist helicopter flights because they make too much noise.