The helipad located on East 34th street in Manhattan is suppose to be closed on the weekends, yet Mayor Bloomberg’s helicopter landings and takeoffs have continued to occur on a regular basis despite outrage from local residents.
The weekend curfew on helicopter use at the helipad has been in place for more than a decade but up until this week the New York mayor continued to use the landing spot with no consideration for local residents.
Bloomberg is the focus of the controversy because of noise and exhaust fumes his helicopter has been producing at times when the helipad is suppose to be closed. According to the private operator of the helipad it is only suppose to be used from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Ron Sticco, a local resident who lives next to the heliport told the New York Post, “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.”
Sticco continued, “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.”
The helipad is technically owned by the city but is leased to a private company for management reasons.
The trips on the mayors behalf appear to sometimes be personal, in one instance caught on tape he was seen leaving the helipad with his girlfriend Diana Taylor and her two dogs.
Bloomberg in the meantime told WABC that he was unaware of the curfe2, “It’s my understanding it’s not closed on the weekends.”
A spokesman for Bloomberg later added:
“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,”
Bloomberg’s office has promised that he will no longer use the helipad on the weekends.