Rep. Zeldin Statement on FAA’s 2-Year Extension of North Shore Helicopter Route | Congressman Lee Zeldin

Rep. Zeldin Statement on FAA’s 2-Year Extension of North Shore Helicopter Route

August 5, 2020
Press Release

PATCHOGUE, NY - Today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the extension of the North Shore Helicopter Route for two years.

“Summer after summer, North Fork residents’ quality of life has suffered due to the persistent issue of helicopter noise on the East End,” said Congressman Zeldin. “Since coming to Congress, I’ve fought for an all-water route and alternatives that mitigate noise impact on residents. We have continued to make measurable progress in delivering for North Fork residents.”

In 2018, Congressman Zeldin ushered into law his proposal to require the FAA to reassess the North Shore Route, including the idea of directing helicopters to take a south shore route. Congressman Zeldin worked directly with FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson, the Eastern Region Helicopter Council, local elected officials, and community members to get an agreement that would improve the situation for North Fork residents.

The Eastern Region Helicopter Council agreed to new routes, which are currently operating, for pilots landing at and departing from East Hampton Airport: 

  1. An all-water route over the Long Island Sound at least one mile off shore at an altitude of 3,500 feet around Orient; and 

  2. Over the Atlantic Ocean at an altitude of 3,500 feet at least a half a mile offshore. Of course, there are some variations for safety, weather, etc. 

The extension of the North Shore Route coupled with this agreement will help ensure helicopters utilize these Eastern Region Helicopter Council routes which direct helicopters around the North Fork, instead of freely transitioning over the North Fork.

Congressman Zeldin continued, “It is imperative that Eastern Region Helicopter Council continues to abide by this most recent agreement.”

Additionally, Congressman Zeldin has cosponsored legislation to improve on the current Eastern Region Helicopter Route, by requiring helicopters go around Plum Island rather than Orient.

Below is a map of the Eastern Region Helicopter Route showing the split usage of both of these routes in the month of June. Green represents outbound helicopters and red represents inbound helicopters.