Following three workshops hosted by the Federal Aviation Administration last week in Riverhead, Garden City and Flushing on the continued use of the “North Shore Helicopter Route,” Congressman Lee Zeldin called on the FAA to host a public hearing, which he says is required by law.
“From the North Shore Helicopter Route’s planning to its continued use, the FAA has flat out ignored the residents directly affected, and, although the FAA is now forced to listen as enshrined in federal law, these ‘workshops’ have given Long Islanders a bad case of déjà vu,” wrote Mr. Zeldin in a letter to FAA Eastern Region Regional Administrator Jennifer Solomon. “These ‘workshops’ fail to comply with the public hearing mandated in my legislative proposal which is now law, and many strongly believe they were seemingly formatted to stifle the true negative impact of this route. The FAA was required by law to hold a public hearing within 30 days of enactment of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which was signed into law on October 5, 2018. It is imperative that the FAA schedule this public hearing immediately, and address the concerns and improve the quality of life of impacted Long Islanders.”
In his letter, he called the FAA’s decision not to host a public hearing, required by federal law, “entirely unacceptable.”
“This week, the series of ‘workshops’ held on Long Island in an attempt to comply with the requirements laid out in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 were an insult to my constituents and did not meet the explicit requirements in my legislative proposal included in Section 182 of the law requiring the FAA to hold a public hearing in the communities impacted by the North Shore Helicopter Route,” writes Mr. Zeldin. “Not only were these ‘workshops’ a failure to comply with the public hearing mandated in this new law, but many strongly believe they were seemingly formatted to stifle the true negative impact of this route, the degradation of day to day quality of life on so many residents on the East End. I urge you to immediately schedule this public hearing and listen to the people of my district in a transparent and open format. These are the people whose quality of life have been so negatively impacted by the aircraft noise imposed on their communities by the deeply flawed NSR and they deserve to be heard. It’s the law.”