Immediate Release Collin Nash or Justin Meyers
May 5, 2008 (516) 869-7794
North Hempstead incorporates 311 hotline to monitor adherence to agreement brokered by Senator Charles Schumer and the Eastern Helicopter Council
Manhasset, NY – North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman Monday took the wraps off an inter-municipal agreement with Nassau County that is part of an Island-wide reporting and monitoring network designed to track residents’ complaints about low-flying helicopters and industry compliance with an agreement to fly less disruptive routes across the island.
“This is something that has been a long time coming,” Kaiman said at a press briefing at town hall. “It’s a testament to public service when different levels of government can come together to hammer out a resolution to an issue that has caused consternation among constituents.”
Brokered by State Senator Charles Schumer, the accord between the town, the county and the Eastern Region Helicopter Council, allows all Nassau County residents to simply dial North Hempstead’s 311 Call Center (311 from within town borders and 869-6311 from outside) to immediately report a low flying helicopter. The Helicopter Council will use the data to urge operators to make adjustments in circumstances where a particular community is being adversely affected.
“This is the summer we fight back against helicopter noise on Long Island,” Schumer said at the Town Hall press briefing, which was also attended by representatives of the Helicopter Council and officials from several East End towns. “For the first time, we have a concrete agreement to ensure helicopters stay away from our communities and a clear cut line of communication so rogue choppers are reported, tracked and brought back in line.”
The agreement Schumer brokered in December 2007 with the Helicopter Council and East Hampton and Gabreski Airports to reduce noise calls choppers to fly a minimum of 2,500 feet away from populated areas and more over the water.
Nassau and Suffolk County residents have suffered in silence for years under the deafening roar of low-flying helicopters buzzing their homes.
“It’s been a constant battle but not one we have been winning,” East Hampton Supervisor, William McGintee, said at the press briefing, thanking Senator Schumer and North Hempstead Supervisor Kaiman for “jumping on board.”