AOPA opposes proposed flight restriction over N.Y. town

October 25, 2007

AOPA opposes proposed flight restriction over N.Y. town

By AOPA ePublishing staff

What if every city and town in New York placed flight restrictions over what they consider to be noise-sensitive areas. That would be like having 994 permanent flight restrictions for pilots to avoid—that is, if each wanted only one.

That's why AOPA has responded to a concern about increasing helicopter traffic over Southold, N.Y., which has caused members of the town's board to propose a local law restricting overflights by aircraft in the town and impose criminal penalties for violating the airspace. Local pilots are concerned about the proposal, and AOPA has contacted the board to explain that only the FAA can regulate U.S. airspace.

The board postponed considering the proposal during a town board meeting on Oct. 23.

AOPA will continue its efforts against the proposed law, which would restrict flight operations below an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet from the aircraft. The penalty for violating the proposed law could be up to $1,000, imprisonment up to 90 days, or both.

AOPA wrote the board to tell the town that, while the FAA has exclusive responsibility for managing the nation's navigable airspace, it has also encouraged pilots flying over noise-sensitive areas to make every effort to stay at least 2,000 feet above ground level, weather permitting. AOPA advocates flying friendly and encourages pilots to abide by the FAA advisory circular.

October 25, 2007