After crash, calls renewed to ban chopper tours

Some elected officials as well as others in New York are saying Sunday's helicopter crash in the East River is just the latest example of why the helicopter tour business should be shut down for good.

"The local helicopter tourist industry has not cleaned up its act," said John Dellaportas, the president of Stop the Chop, a nonprofit that has been sounding the alarm about safety issues and wants the helicopter tour industry shut down.

Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on the FAA to revoke Liberty Helicopter's operating license. This is the company's third crash since 2007.

"There are too many allegations. No one knows what's happened," Schumer said. "I don't think Liberty should be flying until we get to the bottom of this."

Dellaportas said that would be a great start but not enough.

"We should actually shut down the whole industry," he said. "They've proven themselves time and again incapable of conducting themselves in a safe manner."

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has been trying for more than a decade to stop non-essential helicopter travel, like tours and photoshoots. She said that the FAA is the only agency that can shut down the industry.

"The FAA hasn't been very cooperative, to be honest with you, on this topic," Brewer said. "They have not stopped them. They have not said they should not be flying over."

The FAA did not answer questions about banning the helicopter tour industry. Instead, the agency issued a statement about the deadly crash.

"The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is supporting the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) investigation of last night's fatal helicopter accident," the agency said. "Concurrently, the FAA is also conducting its own investigation to determine whether the operation was compliant with all pertinent Federal Aviation Regulations."