By DON STINE
ASBURY PARK – A Wall Township business owner would like to offer sightseeing helicopter rides in Asbury Park, if officials approve.
The proposal was presented to the City Council last week by Vincent Giglio, owner of Ocean Helicopter, which operates out of the Monmouth Executive Airport in Wall. He said he is “hoping to break through the glass ceiling” on providing rides in Asbury Park and that he hopes the council is receptive to the idea.
He said the main purpose of the rides would be sightseeing. The company has had success at other oceanfront locations, including Seaside, Barneget Lighthouse, Long Beach Island and Point Pleasant.
“It is very safe and kids and families love it. It’s also a good way to get kids interested in aviation,” he said.
According to Giglio, the helicopters are smaller than regular helicopters with a low noise signature.
“It is not a very intrusive helicopter. It makes less noise than a train, more like the sound of a bus,” he said.
He also said the helicopters will fly at an altitude of 1,000 feet and that people can then see for miles. It will cost $25 for a five-minute ride although longer trips can also be arranged.
Suggested sites for the landing pad are at the north end of the beachfront or possibly on the old concreter pad of the former Casino building over the beach at the southern end.
“We do not need a lot of room,” Giglio said.The flights and landing site would need approval from the state Department of Transportation.
“The devil is always in the details and how it will work in Asbury Park,” he said.
Picured above is an Ocean Helicopter, from their website. Below is a short video courtesy of Ocean Helicpter.