...Plug Loopholes In City Helicopter Flights
Representative Anthony Weiner, a Member of the House Transportation Committee, has announced legislation to prevent terrorists from using helicopters to attack New York City. Weiner’s legislation would close key loopholes in the helicopter homeland security safety net.
According to recent intelligence, al Qaeda wants to use helicopters to carry out terrorist attacks. At any given moment, hundreds of helicopters are in the skies of New York City.
After 9/11, the Federal government tightened security for airplanes, but helicopter security has been overlooked. Today, Rep. Weiner announced plans to introduce legislation to close key loopholes in the homeland security net:
Require helicopter operators to check passengers against TSA watch lists. Currently, private operators do not have access to TSA lists
Require all passengers and baggage on small aircraft and helicopters to be screened. Currently, they are not required to be screened.
Prohibit helicopters and small aircraft from flying within 1,500 feet of a building. Currently, there is no limit on how close a helicopter can fly to a building.
Prohibit helicopters from flying over Manhattan, except on approach and departure. Currently, there is no floor on how low helicopters can fly.
Require small aircraft and helicopters to remain in contact with the FAA regarding their flight path, regardless of altitude. Currently, low flying small planes and aircraft can fly without notifying the FAA.
“Keeping the skies over New York City safe means more than just planes,” said Rep. Weiner. “It’s time to start treating helicopters and small airplanes just as seriously as we do jumbo jets.”
Weiner’s legislation would make exceptions for police, medical, and other authorized helicopter traffic.