Representatives of the New Jersey club have assured local officials that the landing strip would be for private use. As part of the application, the club provided documents from a nearby medical center that had used the heliport in the past as a medivac site, and the city of Bayonne’s EMS Director also provided an endorsement.
Bayonne Golf Club, in Bayonne, N.J., has applied for a permanent heliport license with the state, The Jersey Journal reported. Club representatives have assured local officials that the landing strip will be for private use.
The waterfront golf club has been operating the heliport since 2006 under a series of temporary licenses, the Journal reported. If a permanent license is approved, the golf club would need the license renewed every year, an attorney for the club said.
In documentation provided to the Hudson County Clerk’s Office, which is required as part of the application process, Bayonne Golf Club officials noted that the heliport has been well-received by the community, the Journal reported.
An accompanying letter from the Bayonne Medical Center (BMC), dated 2006, said the hospital was pleased to have permission to use the golf course heliport for as a medivac site. Previously, the letter noted, helicopters picking up or delivering patients would have to find an open ballfield.
A spokesman for BMC, now a CarePoint Health facility, said the hospital no longer uses the heliport, but did not give a reason.
In its application, Bayonne GC officials also noted that the helicopters could be used by visiting politicians and dignitaries, and that the helicopters would rarely if ever fly over homes in the community, the Journal reported.
The license has five conditions that must be met, the Journal reported:
- operations must be conducted under daylight visual meteorological conditions;
- public and non-personnel need to be kept at a safe distance from the landing and takeoff area;
- compliance with Federal Aviation regulations;
- no aircraft refueling is permitted at the landing site;
- the maximum size of the helicopter, except in an emergency, is the Bell 206L or equivalent.
“We’ve notified the county as the requirements state. We try to work with the community. If there’s an emergency, the helistop can be used,” said Bayonne Golf Club attorney Rinaldo D’Argenio.
In February 2010, the Bayonne City Council passed a resolution in support of the club’s efforts to get a permanent license for the heliport.
“It took time to apply for the permanent license because of the damage from [Hurricane] Sandy,” D’Argenio said. “We had to do a lot of repairs.”
Residents need not worry, D’Argenio added, since “helicopters will be flying over the Hudson River, not homes.” As for activity at the heliport, “Maybe two or three helicopters use it [every] month,” D’Argenio said. “There’s no impact on the residents.”
Mickey McCabe, Emergency Medical Services Director for the City of Bayonne, told the Journal that he likes having a heliport nearby.
“We endorsed the helistop in the sense that it can be used as a medivac,” McCabe said. “It also serves the industrial zone and [Route] 440, in case of a medical situation. Although we’ve never had to use it, it would be available.”
Municipal leaders across Hudson County have raised concerns about the frequency of helicopters flying over populated areas, the Journal noted. There is a commercial heliport in Kearny, N.J. and local officials have noticed an uptick of New York City tourist helicopters over Hudson waterfront communities.
In August 2009, a mid-air collision between a tourist helicopter and a small plane over the Hudson resulted in the death of nine people, the Journal noted.
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