‘It’s an assault’ B’ Heights resident outraged at ‘endless’ helicopter noise

Brooklyn Heights resident Roberto Gautier is fed up with noisy choppers swarming above the Promenade.
Brooklyn Paper
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They’ve had it way up to there!

Helicopter traffic over Brooklyn Heights has transformed life in one of Kings County’s bougiest nabes into a waking nightmare, according to locals, who say they feel besieged by the unending racket caused by the low-flying copters.

“If you ever go on the Brooklyn Promenade, you just hear them going back and forth,” said Roberto Gautier. “It’s an assault.”

Brooklyn Heights is part of the Kings County fly-over route for helicopters taking off from Lower Manhattan on sightseeing tours and raucous trips to LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports in Queens, which have grown more frequent in the wake of the lux helicopter service that ride-share company Uber began offering earlier this month.

And while locals say they’re fine with law enforcement and emergency services buzzing overhead, the plague of high-flying fat cats roaming the skies has got to stop, according to one area park steward.

“If the police have a reason to be here, that’s fine, but it seems like it’s sightseers — it’s so constant,” said Tova Potosky, president of the Cadman Park Conservancy.

In an effort to stymie the awful racket, residents have extended their gripes to the Brooklyn Heights Civic Association, which in turn has extended its support to an upcoming bill sponsored by three Kings County Congress members to outlaw “non-essential” helicopter flights above the city’s airspace.

“It’s been bothering residents and visitors to this neighborhood for years,” said the Brooklyn Heights Association’s executive director Lara Birnback. “You’re really disturbed by what seems like endless helicopter noise.”

The bill, spearheaded by representatives Carolyn Maloney (D–Greenpoint), Nydia Velazquez (D–Williamsbu­rg), and Jerrold Nadler (D–Red Hook), will ban most civilian flights while still allowing trips in the public interest, according to Danielle Sumner, a staffer for Maloney.

Under the law, there will be a citywide ban on tourism helicopters, chartered helicopters for commuting or executive travel, and private helicopters.

The ban would also outlaw Uber’s sky taxi, which shuttles passengers from Manhattan to JFK Airport at upwards of $200 a pop, or the company Blade, which flies from the Big Apple to airports and the Hamptons.

Exempt from the legislation are flights for government, military, law enforcement, infrastructure maintenance, emergency or disaster response, research and, most importantly, the news — preserving Brooklyn Paper’s dreams of someday covering Kings County from the skies!

The legislators planned to introduce the bill at a presser on Oct. 7, but had to put the event on hold last-minute after Maloney fainted at a vigil earlier that day and had to be hospitalized.

A spokeswoman for Uber said it’s helicopter service was never intended to be permanent, and that the true mission of Uber Air is to generate data useful to the planned futuristic sky car of tomorrow!

“Copter is also meant to be short term, generating operational and technology learnings for Uber Air which will offer pooled rides on quieter all electric, zero emission eVTOLs,” said Uber spokeswoman Susan Hendrick.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Posted 12:00 am, October 10, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Zaxby says:
Carroll Gardens ain't much better. Seems it the fly over from the Hamptons to Manhattan.
Oct. 10, 8:26 am
Local from Here says:
The sense of entitlement of these people is beyond the pale. You do not own the skies and you do not get to restrict our freedom of movement. Perhaps take some of your endless supply of money and buy a cabin in the woods and leave the loud noisy city.
Oct. 10, 1:39 pm from Indiana says:
Will love to see the zero emission noiseless helicopters. Maybe an avengers movie can create one.
Oct. 10, 3:11 pm
Fontroy from Brooklyn Heights says:
It gets worse - we are daily subjected to the sound of people walking while wearing loud shoes, coughing at the opera, the squeaking of plastic bags, and crumbling leaves in the autumn! I have sent my maid out to get ear protection for me and all the staff. We will not just sit around and let our ears be defiled by the vulgar noises!
Oct. 11, 8:16 am
theschlet from windsor terrace says:
this is incessantly above windsor terrace and kensington as well. not just the heights!
Oct. 11, 9:58 am
Roberto Gautier from Brooklyn Heights says:
Regarding electric whirlybirds on the horizon:
Oct. 11, 11:18 am
Nosuchthing from Clinton Hill says:
I have no sad feelings for the residents who have for decades always managed to come out smelling like roses. The Barclay Center should have been put in that neighborhood where NYWaterways could have had a simple and profitable time of getting fans to events from lower Manhattan and finally something done about the inadequate roadways leading there. Heights residents don't want views blocked, transitional housing for incarcerated, homeless or drug rehab centers in their esteemed streets and you always seem to get your way. Heck you got a wonderland of green space, gardens, walkways, kayak launches, swimming pools, movies at dusk, etc. If after all this time and all the ways your have managed to chuff off undesirable interruptions in your pristine lives all you get are flyover sounds (hopefully every 10 minutes) then I for one am elated for you. It couldn't happen to a better group of people.
Oct. 11, 12:26 pm
R from Columbia Waterfront from Columbia Waterfront says:
The helicopter noise is excessive at times in Columbia Waterfront.
Oct. 11, 2 pm
Hillbilly from Cobble Hill says:
Why not require helicopters that go between the Financial District and the Hamptons and JFK to fly over the harbor rather than Brooklyn? It would add a small amount of time to the commute of the few people on the helicopters and provide huge relief to the thousands of people bothered by the noise.
Oct. 12, 9:31 am
Robby Currie from Sag Harbor says:
There are multiple round trips per day by twin engine (twice the pollution, twice the noise) helicopters to and from the Hamptons. On leg of each round trip usually carries no passengers. Egregious carbon dense polluting journeys for the elite. They are unsafe, unhealthy and unwanted. Stop the abuse by banning helicopter departures from NYC and stop the problem at both ends.
Oct. 12, 10:25 am
Gary from BK Heights says:
To those of you that feel BK Heights somehow has the power to get everything it wants, dont forget we have the satanically designed BQE running through our neighborhood. If residents didnt fight, all of the historical brownstones would be high rise towers. Dont attack residents because they join together to shut down the capitalist wants of greedy corruption. Yes the new hotel does block the view of the city from the promenade. That impacted all Brooklynites. And BK Heights residents tried to stop it. Thanks DeBlasio. I am more concerned about the safety of all of these helicopters. They buzz around like drones. Nearly clipping buildings, the BK bridge and surrounding areas.
Oct. 13, 7:56 am
Andrew Porter from Brooklyn Heights says:
There is no "Brooklyn Heights Civic Association". There is, however, the Brooklyn Heights Association, correctly named in the next paragraph.
Oct. 13, 12:45 pm

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