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Officials to discuss North Shore helicopters

Helicopters at East Hampton Town Airport Friday afternoon

Helicopters at East Hampton Town Airport Friday afternoon in Wainscott. (August 6, 2010) Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Possible changes to helicopter routes near Port Washington and other North Shore communities are expected to be discussed at Wednesday's Eastern Region Helicopter Council meeting as it kicks off its noise-reducing Fly Neighborly program.

In February, the U.S. Senate passed a measure, part of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, giving the agency authority to regulate helicopter noise and routes. It must still pass the House.

The measure would allow the FAA to create regulations governing noise problems and specifically would require the agency to create rules for Long Island within a year of passage.

The council does not support the provision giving the FAA regulatory authority over flight paths, preferring flexible, diversified routes as a better way to disperse noise, said Robert Grotell, special adviser to the council.

Changing flight patterns was, in part, prompted by complaints from Port Washington residents. Wednesday’s meeting at the Melville Marriott Hotel will include members of the helicopter industry, airport managers, town officials and residents. Representatives of the FAA are expected to attend, according to Grotell.

File photo: Helicopters at East Hampton Town Airport Friday afternoon in Wainscott. (August 6, 2010)

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