Bloomberg Helicopter Trips Upsetting Local Residents

Bloomberg Helicopter Trips Upsetting Local Residents

Residents on the east side of Manhattan are upset at Mayor Michael Bloomberg for using the heliport for his private helicopter on the weekends when the heliport should be closed.

The ban on weekend use of the East 34th street helipad has been in place for over 10 years after court ordered curfew went into effect.

The reason the Bloomberg is catching criticism for his fly-boy antics is due to local residents complaints about noise and exhaust fumes coming from the helipad when the landing strip is supposed to be closed.

The heliport is city-owned but leased to a private operator and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week and closed on weekends.

One resident who was annoyed at the weekend disruptions said that he did not mind the helicopters during the week but felt that everyone should obey the rules.

"I personally like Mayor Bloomberg. This is not a vendetta. I just think in this instance it's hypocritical … He should abide by the rules.'' Ron Sticco, who lives next to the heliport, told The New York Post.

"If you're concerned about the quality of life in this city, then don't land a helicopter in front of my apartment with the choking exhaust and intolerable noise when it's closed," he continued.

Sticco recorded several instances of Bloomberg using the heliport during the weekend and the footage was broadcast on WABC. One particular instance showed the mayor leaving with his girlfriend, Diana Taylor, and her two dogs.

When brought to his attention, Bloomberg stated that he was unaware of the helipads closure.

"It's my understanding it's not closed on the weekends," Bloomberg told WABC. Even so, the mayor's spokesman, Lou Loeser, released an emailed statement citing the reason for the misunderstanding.

"While the heliport's waiting rooms are closed on weekends and you can't get fuel, we always thought that pilots could still take off and land - a courtesy that, it turns out, had been extended to mayors over the years," read the statement.

The mayor's office added that the mayor would not use the helipad on the weekends going forward.


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