Federal Helicopter Safety Act (Maloney Bill)

H.R. 1643, H.R. 4880The Improving Helicopter Safety Act of 2021 (formerly known as H.R. 4880 The Improving Helicopter Safety Act of 2019) is a federal bill introduced (and re-introduced on March 7, 2021) by NY Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney on October 28, 2019 and Co-Sponsored by Congressmembers Jerry Nadler, Nydia Velázquez, Yvette Clarke, José E. Serrano, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Albio Sires, Thomas Suozzi, and Eliot Engel.

The Improving Helicopter Safety Act of 2019, Re-introduced March 7, 2021 as The Improving Helicopter Safety Act of 2021 (Introduced by Carolyn B. Maloney and Co-sponsored Jerry Nadler, Nydia Velázquez, Thomas Suozzi):

  • 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:

Co-Sponsors With Date

Rep. Nadler, Jerrold [D-NY-10] – 10/28/2019, 03/08/2021

Rep. Velázquez, Nydia M. [D-NY-7] – 10/28/2019, 03/08/2021

Rep. Clarke, Yvette D. [D-NY-9] – 10/28/2019

Rep. Serrano, José E. [D-NY-15] – 10/28/2019

Rep. Engel, Eliot L. [D-NY-16] – 10/28/2019

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria [D-NY-14] – 11/13/2019, 04/01/2021

Rep. Suozzi, Thomas R. [D-NY-3] – 11/19/2020

Rep. Sires, Albio [D-NJ-8]


Press Coverage

Plan to ban non-essential helicopter traffic over NYC reintroduced – Spectrum News NY1

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