Chopper Down? Security Permit Nixes Downtown Heliport Flights

US Helicopter Shifts Operations to E.34th Street

The good news is that US helicopter is still running that deal that allows you to fly between Manhattan and the airport for as little as $45, but the bad news is that it hasn't been able to use the Downtown Heliport for almost three weeks, a company official told NewYorkology.

The problem started just before Nov. 1 when US Helicopter learned that the private Pennsylvania-based company chosen to take over management of the heliport wouldn't be able to get its security plan approved in time. Everything had been fine while the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was running the heliport; but when they handed off Nov. 1, the security clearance went with them.

FirstFlight is in the process of getting its security plan approved, but until then, US Helicopter cannot fly its passengers to the secure side of Newark and Kennedy Airports, according to the company's quarterly financial statement.

A company official told NewYorkology that US helicopter has been promised those approvals should come "in a matter of days." But until it does, US helicopter is redirecting its passengers to its East 34th Street heliport, where it flies to the same two airports. Neither the FirstFlight nor the NYC Economic Development Corporation, which awarded the contract to FirstFlight, returned calls for this story.

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