Some New Jersey residents are apparently more worried about noise than emergencies. After University Hospital in Newark relocated its NorthSTAR (Northern Shock-Trauma Air Rescue) medevac helicopter to Somerset Airport to improve response time for the western part of the state, a group launched a court challenge to prevent the permanent basing of the helicopter there. In September 2007, the New Jersey Supreme Court denied a request to hear arguments to overturn a lower court's ruling that found the helicopter was a "permitted use" at the airport. In a letter to New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, AOPA President Phil Boyer urged him to take action to ensure that the helicopter remains at Somerset. Boyer said a key to this is the construction of permanent facilities so that the helicopter can quickly respond to emergencies.
November 23, 2007