Amazon is forcing New York and Virginia to help it build helipads in return for building 'HQ2' in their states

  • Amazon just announced it’s building “HQ2” in two locations – Northern Virginia and New York City.
  • As part of the contracts between Amazon and the two cities, the cities are required to assist Amazon in obtaining federal approval to build helipads at each location.
  • Amazon added that in the case that a helipad cannot be built on the New York location, the city “will assist the Company in securing access to a helipad in an alternative location in reasonable proximity to the Development Sites.”

If Amazon’s “HQ2” causes the traffic nightmares that some are speculating about, Jeff Bezos probably won’t notice – he’ll be arriving via helicopter and landing on a helipad that Amazon required the city to help secure.

Amazon announced Tuesday that it will be splitting its second “headquarters” between northern Virginia and Long Island City, New York. The company will receive billions of dollars in tax breaks from both cities, but that didn’t quite seal the deal. In the agreements signed by Amazon and the two respective cities, the online retailer is requiring public assistance from Virginia and New York in securing federal approval for helipads on both sites.

The contract with Virginia contains the following clause, titled “Other Project”

The Commonwealth will provide assistance to the Company in its efforts to obtain Eligible County, Commonwealth and Federal approvals required for the development, construction, and operation (at the Company’s expense) of a helipad at the Facility.

Amazon seemed to realise that securing a helipad in New York City might be a little more tricky, and went into further detail about what it expects from New York:

If the Public Parties and the Company mutually agree that an onsite helipad is not feasible, the Public Parties will assist the Company in securing access to a helipad in an alternative location in reasonable proximity to the Development Sites. Any new construction would be at the Company’s sole expense, and, in order to minimise disruption to the surrounding communities, the Company agrees to: (i) limit flights and landings to corporate use by the Company; (ii) cooperate with the Public Parties in selecting the least disruptive feasible location on the Development Sites; (iii) restrict landings to no more than 120 per year; and(iv) require that all flights be exclusively over water or the Development Sites, to the extent consistent with applicable laws, rules and regulations.

If Amazon can’t have a helipad directly on its New York site, it will settle for the “least disruptive” nearby location, and promises to use the helipad no more than 120 times per year.

Read more about Amazon’s HQ2:

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