Helicopter ban sought by New York Councilman

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Lincoln Restler, the council member representing the Brooklyn Heights and Greenpoint ward of New York’s city council has introduced legislation designed to reduce Helicopter traffic in the city’s East River corridor. The bill, which apparently has won support from Council members representing wards in New York’s Manhattan, Brooklyn and Bronx boroughs will seek to ban “non-essential” flights from city owned heliports. According to a tweet by Restler “There are approximately 4,000 non-essential helicopter flights over New York City monthly by Uber, Blade and tourism companies…it’s disruptive to our communities and bad for the environment”.

Complaints about aircraft noise are, of course, nothing new but they have risen significantly in recent years in line with traffic growth fuelled by ride sharing apps and other booking platforms.

If successful, the ban would not only hamper corporate and leisure traffic but would a significant impact on the business models of nascent eVTOL companies.

1,800 Missions flown into St George’s helipad in eight years

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Since 2014, when the pad opened, five air ambulance providers, Air Ambulance Kent, Surrey and Sussex, London Air Ambulance and Thames Valley Air Ambulance, have transferred critically ill or injured patients to St George’s, over the course of 1,868 missions.

The Helicopter Emergency Pads (HELP) appeal, a joint, though independent, project of 14 air ambulance charities, provides funding for the construction, upgrade and maintenance of hospital helipads across the UK.

Planning for the rooftop helipad began in 2010 after St George’s became the designated Major Trauma Centre for the South West London and Surrey Trauma Network. The hospital helipad, which was the first in south London, took just under a year to build and cost £5million with the HELP Appeal donating £1million to its construction.

Commenting on the landmark, Dr Anthony Hudson, Clinical Director for Major Trauma and Emergency Medicine Consultant at St George’s, said: “Having the helipad at St George’s has proved hugely beneficial to our patients who are brought here in life-threatening conditions. As one of London’s four major trauma centres, we know that getting patients to us in the fastest time possible so they can receive expert care from our major trauma teams is vital for ensuring the best survival rates and future quality of life.”

In addition to the construction support In 2018, the HELP Appeal donated £400,000 to install DIFFS, a deck integrated firefighting system, which can extinguish a fire quickly and effectively, protecting the helipad and hospital and ensuring the safety of those on deck and avoiding the need for a hospital evacuation.