East Hampton grounds flights for Blade app

Posted: Updated:
EAST HAMPTON -

The Town of East Hampton has blocked the app-based helicopter service Blade just head of the busy summer season.

Town officials are also calling for a federal investigation into the company's business practices.

Blade is a Manhattan-based on-demand helicopter service often considered "the Uber of helicopters."

But town officials say the company is violating its approved operating model by running like a scheduled flight service. So they revoked Blade's privilege to operate out of the East Hampton Airport.

By operating on a schedule rather than on demand, the result is a higher volume of flights, officials say. 

And that means more irritating helicopter noise for residents like John Cullen, who say they moved to the East End seeking peace and quiet.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has previously fined Blade tens of thousands of dollars for violating its business model.

But an attorney for the company says it is now in compliance with all DOT regulations.

The attorney says Blade has requested a meeting with East Hampton officials.

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