Dougherty: Chopper routes up in the air for summer flights

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Shelter Island Town Hall.

At Tuesday’s Town Board work session Town Supervisor Jim Dougherty said there was good news and bad news on helicopter routes over or around the Island this summer.

The good news was that he had heard from Jeff Smith, head of the Eastern Regional Helicopter Council. Mr. Smith said that although there’s no agreement on routes that fly from New York City to the South Fork for this year, as it stands now the routes would remain the same as last year when most flights didn’t buzz the Island.

The bad news, or “nervous news,” as Mr. Dougherty termed it, is “there are so many head fakes in these helicopter negotiations we have no idea if this is the first step in a pre-arranged plan.”

In short, Mr. Dougherty said, “we don’t have an agreement.”  He was hopeful there would be an update by next week.