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NY Governor strikes down contentious Stop the Chop bill

A bill intended to mitigate helicopter operations at the West 30th Street Heliport in New York City that would have allowed citizens to sue pilots and other associated company personnel for alleged helicopter noise pollution statewide was vetoed by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
A helicopter approaches the Manhattan heliport targeted by New York lawmakers seeking to mitigate noise, in a bill that was vetoed by Gov. Kathy Hochul. Photo by David Tulis.

In her veto message Hochul explained, “Regulation of aircraft and airspace is primarily a federal responsibility, and federal law significantly constrains the state’s ability to legislate in this area. Certain elements of this legislation run counter to the federal scheme regulating New York’s airports and airspace.”

S.B.7493-A or the “stop the chop” bill passed the New York state assembly on June 3 and was immediately met with opposition by AOPA, the National Business Aviation Association, Helicopter Association International, and other aviation associations. Those in opposition of the bill said the bill could have devastating effects on the industry and the state’s economy. AOPA and the New York Aviation Management Association shared their concerns in a joint letter to Hochul and many of our members contacted the governor's office personally to express their opposition to this bill.

Supporters of the bill hoped that the threat of lawsuits would reduce the number of revenue-generating sightseeing flights and thus squelch the rising number of noise complaints from local residents. 

“On behalf of our nearly 10,000 New York members, AOPA thanks Governor Hochul for her leadership vetoing the ’Stop the Chop‘ legislation, Senate Bill 7493-A, and for her recognition of the state’s limitation on enacting local restrictions on flight activity”, said Sean Collins, AOPA’s Eastern regional manager.  “The governor’s action to stop this bill will help to preserve the vitality of New York’s general aviation industry, which supports $79.9 billion in annual economic impact.” 

Niki Britton

eMedia Content Producer
eMedia Content Producer Niki Britton joined AOPA in 2021. She is a private pilot who enjoys flying her 1969 Cessna 182 and taking aerial photographs.
Topics: Advocacy, State Legislation

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