, 2022-12-11 21:21:11
New York City is considering a ban on helicopters that are “nonessential.” That word is an understatement for the category under discussion: while some small aircraft are needed in health or public safety emergencies — a person living in a remote area needs to get to a large urban hospital, the Coast Guard must rescue someone miles from shore — “nonessential” helicopters are those allowing tourists an aerial view of the city or, more obnoxiously, ferrying the rich out to the Hamptons, a location easily reached by train, car, or bus. Every month four thousand of these vehicles take off from publicly owned heliports on the Hudson River, tormenting New Yorkers with the noise and air pollution.
In recent years the noise from these ridiculous contraptions has increased dramatically. As Observer reported in June, the noise complaints about them never used to exceed one thousand, but in 2020, the city received ten thousand complaints and last year that number reached twenty six thousand.
It’s obviously intolerable. Numerous studies have also found it associated with what is called, in scientific jargon, “annoyance.” The noise pollution of “the chop” is even worse than annoying. Research also shows that helicopter noise, horribly deafening, causes stress, daytime sleep disturbance, loss of concentration, as well as physical health problems like hypertension. (New York City’s proposed ban does not include police helicopters, alas.) It…
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