Citizens Against the Bushkill Heliport

This petition made change with 250 supporters!

Mr. Frank Lazzarini of 1201 Seifert Road in Nazareth, PA is applying on Thursday, June 16th 2016 to have a Heliport constructed in his back yard, which is an absurdity for a densely populated community that will bring with it safety risks and reduced property values. Below we’ve listed a number of reasons why the addition of this heliport to our neighborhood will severely detriment our quality of life.

1.   FAA guidelines recommend aircraft be located at least 2,000 lateral feet from a residential area and then ascend vertically 2,000 feet above ground before moving laterally in flight. This is why airports are so large. Mr. Lazzarini’s 12-acre property is not large enough to accommodate a heliport.

2.   There are two local airports very close to his home address that would satisfy FAA safety standards for heliports:

3.   The helicopters Mr. Lazzarini will use, a Sikorsky S76 and a Bell 430 are enormous, and used for shuttling VIP clients. The S76 is 52ft long X 44ft wide and the Bell 430 is 44ft long X 42ft wide, roughly the length of an average house in Nazareth.

4.   He has stated that he will be flying in and out of his heliport “no more than 25 times per year”, however he is making it available to the Medevac Team at Gracedale Nursing Home, which will increase the amount of flights above the stated 25 times. Six miles down the road however, is the St. Luke's / Pennstar Flight Center Heliport, making his Medevac Heliport redundant.

5.   According to Article 1602, subsection W of Bushkill Township’s Additional Requirements for Specific Uses ordinance, a heliport is to be PRIVATE USE ONLY, and use, access, take-off and landing privileges shall be limited to the owner of the lot and his / her family. Could the actual purpose of the heliport be that Mr. Lazzarini - who is Chief Operating Officer and Director of Operations for HeliFlite, a Helicopter Shuttle service - wants to transport VIP clients to the Pocono Raceway? THAT IS NOT PRIVATE USE!

6.   Helicopters rank especially high in causing undesirable noise, which does not correlate with the decibels it registers, and may be detrimental to public health. The helicopter’s unique sound, created by blade vortex interaction, causes people to rate its sound level as much as 10 dB’s higher than it actually registers, doubling the noise impact. This would place perceived helicopter noise at around 97 dB, or a whopping 30 dB’s over the generally accepted noise level of residential areas.

7.   Regardless of any assurances regarding flight paths and operation heights, Helicopters are not as safe as Mr. Lazzarini is portraying them. Just this year, there have been 35 non-military crashes within the United States, resulting in 13 deaths.

8.   The Sikorsky S76 model has had 92 crashes since March 1980, 32 of them in this country. The Bell 430 helicopters have had 8 crashes since 1999.

9.   Statistics that show that while airplane accident rates are 0.175 per 100,000 hours of flying, helicopters are 7.5 per 100,000 hours of flying. That is a staggering 42.85 times higher.

10.   Heliport proximity is detrimental to your real estate value. A heliport can lower home values averaging between 10% and 27.4%.

We have airports for a reason. Helicopters in residential areas are fundamentally incompatible. When it comes to the convenience of individuals and their expensive toys, there is no one single means of transportation that impacts so many people in so many negative ways as private helicopters.

Help us to convince the Bushkill Township Board of Supervisors to deny granting a Conditional Use Permit for Mr. Lazzarini's Heliport. Contact the Bushkill Township Board of Supervisors to voice your opposition!

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