North Fork residents call on FAA to change flight path of noisy helicopters

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North Fork community members attended a meeting Tuesday night about loud helicopter noises they say has been plaguing the North Shore for years.

John Cullen says North Fork residents bear the brunt of the noise because the helicopters are flying a North Shore route to the East Hampton Airport, which is on the South Fork.

"We're talking anywhere from 75 helicopters on weekdays, on Thursdays, Friday and Sunday," said Cullen.

Cullen and other North Fork residents are calling on the FAA to change the flight path and require the helicopters to remain off-shore rather than fly over the North Fork.

Riverhead Town Councilwoman Catherine Kent, who serves as the town board liaison to its helicopter noise task force, agrees.

"They're flying over our homes. So our feeling is if they're flying to the South Fork, they should fly along the South Fork, over the Atlantic Ocean," said Kent.

The Eastern Region Helicopter Council President Jeff Smith said there are several complications with a South Shore route.

"One, all the airspace on Long Island -- Kennedy, Islip, Westhampton -- are all on the South Shore. The other thing is the weather. If there are any meteorologists, please step up. Weather is typically worse on the South Shore than it is on the North Shore," said Smith.

Tuesday's meeting was the first time the Eastern Region Helicopter Council met with residents about this issue.

Some North Fork residents are now calling for a public forum with the FAA to talk about changing the flight path.

An FAA spokesperson told News 12 the agency will respond directly to communities to discuss their concerns.

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