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North Brunswick OK's temporary helistop

12/10/1985 - by Evelyn Agpar

Despite the objections of some nearby residents, the Township Council last night approved a temporary helistop sought by Webcraft Technologies. The Route 1 firm needs a letter from the township to accompany its application to the Aeronautics Division of the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The temporary helistop already has the approval of the Federal Aviation Agency. 

But the approval came with a set of stipulations concerning the nature and frequency of the flights, along with the flight patterns the company will use. Benjamin Wax, a Webcraft spokesman, agreed that flights would be restricted to daytime hours and would average no more than one round-trip flight a day, with a maximum of three flights a day. He and pilot William Kamm also agreed to use a flight pattern over railroad tracks, not residential areas. Wax also agreed to confine use of the helistop to "non routine" flights.

During testimony, Wax said the firm used helicopters to transport engineers and possibly executives to a plant in Doylestown, Pa., a 25-minute trip from North Brunswick. lie said the high cost of renting the helicopter would limit the number of trips. Wax said the company planned to use an existing rear parking lot as a temporary helistop, clearing it of parked cars when it is needed as a helistop.

In a year, the company must file an application to build a permanent helistop, which would require Planning Board approval. Helistops are currently in operation in the township at Johnson & Johnson, E. R. Squibb and Sons and Fidelity Union Bank. Pat Murphy, whose property is located behind Webcraft, said the helicopter flights would "be in my back yard" and would "rattle my windows." She asked why Webcraft couldn't use an existing J&J helistop, three minutes' walking distance from Webcraft. 

Murphy, one of six residents opposed to the helistop, also said the permanent helistop would contribute to drainage problems in the neighborhood.  In reply, Wax said the company would improve drainage when built the permanent helistop. Resident Mary Pinkham, however, pointed out that the homes were located in an industrial zone, and said the helistop was a "new arrival" that she "welcomed." 

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