Investigations

Mayor Bloomberg taped using heliport during curfew

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fed up with the Mayor using the East 34th Street Heliport on weekends when it's closed, Ron Sticco started documenting it.

"To utilitze that heliport when it's supposed to be closed is just disrespectful," said Sticco.

Nearby residents, like the Sticcos, fought for years to get the noisy, fume-choking heliport closed on weekends and weeknights. The court-imposed curfew has been in place for more than a decade.

"He's being a little bit hypocritical. If you're concerned about the quality of life of the citizen in this city, like don't smoke a cigarette in Central Park, then don't land a two thousand pound helicopter in front of my apartment with the choking exhaust and intolerable noise when it's closed," added Sticco.

In the last six months, Sticco and his wife have recorded the Mayor's helicopter landing or taking off from heliport during curfew 16 times.

This past weekend alone, the Mayor's helicopter was in and out of the heliport 8 times, starting on Friday, 15 minutes after the heliport closed. The Mayor piloted the chopper in for a landing.

It landed again Saturday morning, then took off 45 minutes later. It was unclear who was inside.

Then again, late Saturday afternoon, with Bloomberg at the controls, there is a return to the closed heliport. Bloomberg's girlfriend Diana Taylor and her two dogs are with him as they return to the city.

That Sunday, Bloomberg made yet another landing during the weekend noise curfew.

"It's the weekend, it's closed. I just think it's unfair to us. Just because he's the mayor, I don't think it's fair to do that," Amy Sticco added.

The Mayor insists the heliport is in fact open on the weekends, contrary to FAA information that is available on websites. Even the heliport's own chart given to pilots shows it is clearly closed, something Mayor Bloomberg, as a pilot should know.

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