Editorial: If helicopters fly overhead, does the FAA hear them?

When something isn’t working in private business, you consult with your customers and staff and make adjustments as you move ahead.

In the public sector, that isn’t always the case.

This week’s decision by the Federal Aviation Administration to extend its North Shore helicopter route four more years is a prime example of government sticking with the status quo instead of making adjustments to a broken system in response to public input.

In fact, in this particular instance, the government agency never even accepted feedback from the residents affected by the decision it was making.

In the private sector, you lose customers and eventually go out of business if you operate this way.

No matter where you fall on the helicopter-noise-is-a-major-problem spectrum — from “it doesn’t bother me at all” to “it sounds like Fallujah” — it should frustrate you to see the FAA blindly push forward with a plan many local residents and government officials believe is a total failure.

Should Southold Town spend tax dollars to fight this decision? Should the FAA administrator resign? Are our state’s Democratic senators to blame for the route being extended? 

These are all questions being asked today because the FAA didn’t allow a region it serves to be heard on an issue that is vitally important to many. That is a serious problem and one that is unfortunately not unique to that particular agency of our federal government.

It’s an issue that too often pops up when “faceless, unelected and unaccountable federal bureaucrats,” as Congressman Lee Zeldin called them, are allowed to run the show.