New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) flew in a helicopter from Brooklyn to Queens on Friday afternoon to avoid rush-hour traffic, his office confirmed Monday.
De Blasio’s spokesman Eric Phillips would not comment on why de Blasio was in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon, but he did deny that the mayor was at his favorite hangout spot, the Park Slope YMCA, the New York Daily News reported.
Phillips said only that the mayor had "meetings he needed to attend" and wouldn’t answer whether they were for his 2017 campaign–which has been taking up an increasing amount of de Blasio’s time–or government work.
De Blasio had taken a helicopter earlier that day for a tech industry event in Long Island City, but that was on his public schedule.
A reporter asked the New York Police Department to comment on de Blasio’s helicopter ride and was directed to file a Freedom of Information Law request. The NYPD’s deputy commissioner for counterterrorism and intelligence, John Miller, issued a statement on the helicopter ride, the Daily News noted.
"The security and transportation of the mayor are determined by the NYPD," the statement said. "We do not discuss the specifics of security."
Asked if that meant there was a security issue on Friday, a high-ranking official referred back to the statement.
Last month, for an event at which he announced security upgrades, de Blasio was flown to and from Rikers Island, though he was forced to switch helicopters after the one that brought him had mechanical trouble upon landing.
According to the Daily News, de Blasio has a history of being tardy to events and was late for two important events in the Rockaways. The paper also noted that de Blasio is not the only senior city official to have used a helicopter for local travel.
The source said former Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg used his own helicopter whenever he needed to get somewhere in a hurry and that Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and his predecessor, Raymond Kelly, used a police copter for the same reason.