Investigations

Mayor to stop using heliport on weekends

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Following an Eyewitness News Investigation, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office says he will no longer use the heliport on weekends.

"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," the mayor's spokesperson Stu Loeser said.

Jim Hoffer reported in a two part investigation that Mayor Bloomberg had been using the heliport during off-hours. Below is the second part of that investigation. You can watch both reports in the video player above.

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Two Billionaires: One, the Mayor of a large city. The other is owner of a huge industrial empire. Both seem to fly by their own set of rules when using the East 34th Street Heliport.

"Helicopter landing before 8:00 a.m.," Amy Sticco said.

Billionaire Ira Rennert's huge helicopter breaks an early morning curfew, it's massive engines and rotor blades whipping up noise and fumes before the heliport's 8:00 a.m. opening.

"It's humongous. And when it lands, it shakes the windows the noise is just unbelievable," Ron Sticco said.

The Sticcos have had it with wealthy helicopter owners violating the noise curfew. In an earlier investigation, we showed how the city's billionaire Mayor repeatedly ignores the weekend curfew. On weekdays, though, it is Rennert's chopper violating the rules and rattling residents.

"30 minutes before the heliport opens," Amy said.

The Sticcos have captured Rennert's helicopter breaking curfew at least 9 times. On video, the silver-haired Billionaire is seen getting into his huge chopper 30 minutes before the heliport opens. Perhaps he's headed to his home in the Hamptons, believed to be the largest residential compound in the nation:

"Invariably, it's before the opening hours of the heliport and the worst part about that it's the loudest helicopter we've seen land on this heliport and the biggest," Amy said.

But back to the other billionaire, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who seems to think the heliport is his own private landing pad, especially on weekends. The Sticcos captured him violating the weekend noise curfew 16 times, often with his girlfriend and dogs along for the ride.

"My understanding, it's not closed on the weekends," Bloomberg said.

How could the Mayor be so misinformed about a city-imposed curfew that's spelled out in the heliport's own chart to pilots.

"I've been using it and I have a lot of things to do. I'm trying like everyone else. The heliport is there. It's available to land and to take off from," Mayor Bloomberg said.

"We've seen him bend rules more than once. This is for his own convenience. It's not for the residents," Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio said.

DeBlasio says the Mayor needs to follow the rules.

"For the mayor to act like he can be held to a different standard whenever it's convenient for him and use the heliport when no one can is ridiculous," he said.

CLICK HERE TO SEE PART 1 OF JIM HOFFER'S INVESTIGATION

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Tags:
michael bloomberg, investigations, jim hoffer
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