Proposed helicopter flight paths anger North Fork residents

The fight over helicopter noise on the North Fork is ramping up due to controversial new flight paths.

The fight over helicopter noise on the North Fork is ramping up due to controversial new flight paths. (4/26/16)

ORIENT - Residents on the East End say their peace and quiet is being ruined by helicopters flying overhead. 

They claim a proposed solution by the Eastern Regional Helicopter Council won't fix a thing. 

The FAA requires helicopters to take a North Shore route to head to the Hamptons.  Now, the group of pilots who fly that route are set to implement a new flight path once they arrive on the East End. Inbound flights would go between Riverhead and Mattituck. Leaving the Hamptons, the route for single engine choppers would go over Peconic.  Twin engine choppers would go around Shelter Island and over Orient.

"They are just basically shifting traffic from one area to another," says Teresa McCaskie, of Southold's Helicopter Noise Steering Committee.

Town officials say the new transition routes don't solve any problems.  They say the noise complaints will just continue to grow if real change isn't implemented.

A spokesperson for the Eastern Region Helicopter Council says these new routes are over the least built-up areas on the North Fork.  He added that "the proposed transition routes to and from the mandatory North Shore route have been carefully analyzed to attempt to significantly reduce noise impact for residents." 

The helicopter council told News 12 that the proposed routes go into effect on May 1.


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