FAA Mandates ATC Control For VFR Pilots In NYC East River Corridor
October 14, 2006 — The FAA has issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM) requiring all fixed-wing aircraft operating under VFR in New York City's East River Class B exclusion area to be authorized and controlled by air traffic control. This action was not a complete surprise, as several politicians were clamoring for increased restrictions - even bans - on general aviation flight near the city In the wake of Wednesday's tragic aircraft accident that killed New York Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle.
"EAA is disappointed that the FAA felt compelled to implement restrictions on VFR flights above the East River as a result of this unprecedented and tragic accident," said Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government relations. "However, considering the overwhelming pressure being exerted on the FAA by New York politicians to ban all VFR flights around Manhattan under the guise of security concerns, we believe that this was the most measured response the FAA could have taken while the NTSB and FAA complete their investigation of the accident and flight procedures in the area."
To obtain authorization, pilots should contact LGA ATCT south of Governors Island on 126.05. Amphibious fixed-wing aircraft landing or departing New York Skyports Inc Seaplane Base and helicopters operating in the East River corridor are excluded from the ATC requirement.