[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
[Adopted 6-9-2009 by L.L. No. 23-2009 (Ch. 212, Art. I, of the 1985 Code)]
This Legislature finds and determines that low-flying helicopters have become a public nuisance in Suffolk County and threaten life or the property of its residents.
This Legislature further finds and determines that the Federal Aviation Administration has failed to regulate the operation of helicopters.
This Legislature further finds and determines that the operation of helicopters at low altitudes is presumed to be a hazard to persons and property on the surface and constitutes careless and reckless operation.
This Legislature further finds and determines that other municipalities, including the City of New York, have established regulations for helicopter operations within their jurisdictions.
Therefore, the purpose of this article is ensure safe operation of helicopters passing through the air boundaries of Suffolk County and to preserve and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of Suffolk County without prohibiting safe passage of helicopters.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated.
- CARELESS OR RECKLESS MANNER
- Failing to take all actions reasonably necessary for safe operation or operating at an altitude that creates a hazard or undue hardship for persons and property on the surface.
- An aircraft, the support of which in the air is normally derived from airfoils mechanically rotated about an approximately vertical axis.
It shall be unlawful to operate, or for the owner to permit the operation of, any type of helicopter in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of others.
This article shall not apply to:
Helicopters used exclusively in the governmental service of the United States of America, the State of New York, or any municipal corporation of the State of New York; and
Helicopters used exclusively for agricultural operations; and
Helicopters actively engaging in aerial photography and videography, search and rescue operations, medevac, flight training, environmental testing and surveying, fire fighting, or the inspection of towers, buildings, or power lines; and
Helicopters operated within "controlled airspace" as that term is defined by Section 3.2 of the Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Information Manual.
[Amended 3-23-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
Any person who violates the provisions of this article shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000 for each violation, to be recovered by Suffolk County in a civil action.
This article shall apply to actions occurring on or after the effective date.