May 15, 2003



From Newsday:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is irked at federal aviation officials for causing a brief stir blocks from Ground Zero early Wednesday by allowing a plane packed with U.S. soldiers to fly low over the city.

The incident led to a mistaken 911 call of a plane in the East River and a number of calls to the city and the FAA from concerned New Yorkers, officials said.

Mayoral spokesman Ed Skyler said the city received just two minutes notice before the incident.

"Considering the world we live in and New York City's recent history, one would expect a little more consideration, sensitivity and notice from the FAA when they authorize a plane to fly at that altitude over lower Manhattan," Bloomberg said in a statement.

At about 8:30 a.m., the FAA air traffic control center in Garden City granted a request from a U.S. government-chartered Continental Airlines flight 3021, carrying soldiers returning from Iraq, to fly at about 3,000 feet over the city on an approach to Newark Airport, said FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac. The typical altitude is 3,500 to 6,000 feet. The request was granted to give the soldiers a closer view of the city skyline and the Statue of Liberty, according to a written statement from the FAA.

Posted by Jeff at May 15, 2003 01:06 PM | TrackBack