Federal Legislation

H.R.4880 – The Improving Helicopter Safety Act of 2019 is a federal bill introduced by NY Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney on October 28, 2019 and Co-Sponsored by NY Congressmembers Jerry Nadler, Nydia Velázquez, Yvette Clarke, José E. Serrano,  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Eliot Engel.

The Improving Helicopter Safety Act of 2019:

  • Prohibits nonessential helicopters from flying in covered airspace of any city with a population of over 8 million people and with a population density of over 25,000 people per square mile—including waterways within the city’s jurisdiction
  • Defines “nonessential” helicopters as any helicopter flown by a pilot with a Part 135 or Part 91 license (i.e. any private or commercial pilot) whose purpose is not “essential”
  • Defines “essential” helicopter flights as: law enforcement, emergency response, disaster response, medical services, or for the public interest; does not affect military aircrafts
  • Excludes airports from “covered airspace”
  • Helicopters are permitted to fly through the shortest, most direct routes possible to access or depart from airports
  • Directs the FAA to update helicopter flight charts to show airspace designated as “covered” under this bill (The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not have any regulations, policies, or procedures to account for New York City’s uniquely crowded airspace, and it has ignored calls to implement such policies.)

Manhattan Community Board 7 2020 Resolution Supporting H.R. 4880

Manhattan Community Board 4 Letter to Elected Officials Regarding H.R. 4880

Press Releases:

Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Ban Non-Essential Helicopter Flights In NYC. WCBS 880’s Steve Burns reports – listen below:


Rep. Nadler, Jerrold [D-NY-10]

Rep. Velázquez, Nydia M. [D-NY-7]

Rep. Clarke, Yvette D. [D-NY-9]

Rep. Serrano, José E. [D-NY-15]

Rep. Engel, Eliot L. [D-NY-16]

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria [D-NY-14]

Rep. Suozzi, Thomas R. [D-NY-3]

Date Co-Sponsored








Press Coverage

Sick of helicopter noise? New bill would ban most chopper flights over NYC – Brooklyn Eagle

New York lawmakers seek to ban all non-essential helicopters over NYC – New York Post

Proposed bill would ban non-essential helicopters in New York City – ABC 7

Letter from NY/NJ Congressional Members to the FAA and NTSB in response to March 2018 East River Crash.

2013 NY Congressmembers’ Press Release To FAA Re Helicopter Noise