14-Jan-2014 Source: HAI
HAI President Matt Zuccaro, NBAA President Ed Bolen, Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC) Vice President Jeff Smith, and Don Scimonelli, the C.O.O. of Washington D.C.’s South Capitol Street Heliport (09W), recently met the Delegate to the United States Congress representing the District of Columbia, Eleanor Holmes Norton, to discuss a renewed effort to reopen the South Capitol Street Heliport.
The heliport has remained closed to private and commercial helicopter operations since the September 11, 2001, attacks, despite the identified need for helicopter access to the nation’s capital.
Jeff Smith, based in New York City, says that 41 ERHC member companies continue to ask for access to the heliport. ERHC, HAI, and NBAA member companies view the heliport as a vital part of the nation’s transportation infrastructure, linking commerce centers in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, Richmond, Norfolk, and as far south as Charlotte, N.C. to U.S. policy makers and the Washington D.C. business community.
D.C. Delegate Norton stated, “The time has long passed for our security officials to do what is necessary to grant commercial access to the South Capitol Street Heliport, just as economies throughout the nation and the world are benefiting from helicopter travel.”
Many ERHC, HAI, and NBAA members and staff point to highly successful enhanced security measures put in place in New York City that enabled the secure reopening of all the city’s heliports following the September 11 attacks.
Operations have continued in NYC with no security incidents, and proponents of the South Capitol Street Heliport believe that reasonable security measures can promise the same for the nation’s capital.