Today’s news:

Copters to fly visitors to JFK from Wall St.

Not only will US Helicopters rush them to JFK in nine minute, but they won't have to go through a security check once they arrive. It won't be cheap. The introductory cost for the Lower Manhattan-JFK flight will be $139 plus taxes and fees and a regular rate of $159, according to the Reuters news agency. Besides the rapid flights, another advantage of the new service will be that security checks will be performed at the downtown Manhattan heliport at Wall Street at Pier 6, permitting quick boarding once passengers arrive at American Airlines terminal at JFK. The federal Transportation Security Administration will provide screening for passengers and luggage. US Helicopters will begin operating March 13 as a business partner with American Airlines. Jerry Murphy, formerly an executive of the defunct airlines Kiwi and Pan American World Airways, is president of US Helicopter. US Helicopters will use eight-passenger Sikorsky SL76 helicopters in the new service, providing hourly flights between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. US Helicopter spokesmen said the company plans to expand service in April, adding routes from Lower Manhattan to LaGuardia and to Newark Liberty International Airport. The company said it also planned to provide ground transportation from American Airlines terminal to other airline terminals. Helicopter services to New York City's three airports goes back many years, although there has been none since the mid-1980s. Helicopters served the heliport atop the former Pan Am building in midtown Manhattan until 1977 when a wheel on a helicopter collapsed, a rotor shattered and fragments of it scattered and left five people dead, including a woman walking along Madison Avenue blocks away. Helicopters once also ferried passengers to airports from the 60th Street heliport near the Queensborough Bridge and from the Wall Street heliport.

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