Photo: A helicopter lands at the West 30th Street Heliport (KJRA) in New York City. Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

Balanced task force to oversee its future.

Vertical Aviation International (VAI) successfully led an advocacy campaign to amend legislation that initially sought to permanently close the West 30th Street Heliport (KJRA) in New York City, New York. The lobbying effort, bolstered by VAI’s members and industry partners, urged legislators to adopt a more thoughtful and equitable approach toward the future of the heliport.

After more than 96,000 emails were sent to the New York State Legislature opposing the closure from VAI members and others, legislators revised the bill to keep the heliport operational for the foreseeable future.

“The legislation now includes a task force with industry representation ensuring that we have a seat at the table and our voice will be heard as conversations about the future of the heliport continue in the months and years to come,” says Josh Rousseau, VAI’s Northeast US regional representative.

The task force’s role will be critical in overseeing how proposals and policies affecting the heliport are evaluated, ensuring that any decisions are made with comprehensive industry input. This approach not only preserves the heliport but also highlights the importance of involving industry experts in legislative processes that affect critical infrastructure. VAI continues to advocate for the importance of vertical aviation infrastructure to local economies and the essential services provided by its members.

“Removing infrastructure means removing opportunities for local communities to benefit from vertical aviation,” Rousseau adds. “The future of vertical aviation is promising, especially with sustainable technologies that enhance community compatibility on the horizon.”

Moving forward, VAI remains committed to educating stakeholders about the economic and social benefits of vertical aviation, promoting investments in the sector, and ensuring that policies reflect fairness and common sense. This commitment is part of VAI’s broader mission to foster an environment where new technologies and infrastructure developments can thrive, benefiting both the industry and the communities they serve.

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