Dec 16 2011
Senators require FAA to aggressively enforce noise regulation, improve safety
Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) are calling on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to address the growing noise and safety concerns among Los Angeles residents caused by low-flying helicopters.
The Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act of 2011 directs the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop and enforce regulations to control helicopter noise and improve helicopter safety above Los Angeles.
Every day in Los Angeles County, a steady swarm of media, traffic, tour, paparazzi, film and private commuter helicopters buzz above L.A.’s residential areas. This has reached the point where noise levels are extreme and privacy violated. The number of helicopters creates a noise nuisance and safety hazard for residents on the ground.
“This is an important bill to protect the quality of life in America’s second largest city. The air above Los Angeles is polluted with helicopter noise that disrupts the rights of Californians to live in peace and quiet, and Congress has an obligation to reduce the noise and force the FAA to establish some common sense rules,” said Senator Feinstein.
“It is critical that the FAA initiate a plan to stop the disruptive level of helicopter noise in Los Angeles neighborhoods,” said Senator Boxer.
Downtown Los Angeles has helicopter landing pads on virtually every skyscraper. This summer, Los Angeles residents experienced two consecutive weekends of extreme helicopter noise during the closing of Interstate 405 and the visit by Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Noise from helicopters above the Hollywood Bowl has been so loud that the symphony had to stop playing.
One Los Angeles resident told a newspaper that at least five helicopters hovered over her house watching the 405. “The noise was nerve-wracking,” she said. “The house was vibrating.”
Feinstein added, “To date, FAA leaders have ignored this problem. In fact, FAA has not even tracked noise and annoyance complaints. This bill directs the FAA to take this matter seriously.”
Senator Feinstein’s bill is a companion to legislation with the same name introduced by Representative Howard Berman, H.R. 2677.