The Professional Helicopter Pilots Association is troubled with the LAAHNC’s ongoing efforts to solicit helicopter complaints from Los Angeles residents. Although we encourage people to utilize the Federal Aviation Administration’s automated helicopter noise complaint system when they are bothered by helicopter noise, it appears the LAAHNC may be encouraging people to “game” the system and make multiple complaints on single incidents or simply complain about any sort of noise and attribute that noise to helicopters. The LAAHNC also continues to proclaim that no progress with regard to helicopter noise has been made.
Despite these published statements from the LAAHNC that no significant progress has been made, the PHPA stands firmly behind the FAA and agrees the multi-party collaborative group of industry and homeowners representatives have made significant progress. To date, the PHPA has participated in 57 collaborative meetings with the LAAHNC and FAA. Hundreds, if not thousands of hours have been dedicated to this endeavor of collaboration and substantive dialogue.
The PHPA remains saddened the LAAHNC felt it necessary to recently withdraw from further collaborative discussions with helicopter pilots and operators regarding helicopter routes and altitudes in order to minimize noise in a safe manner. We, however, continue to work with the FAA on establishing a voluntary off-shore helicopter route. We also remain committed to attending the monthly noise complaint data review meetings with the LAAHNC and the FAA and are pleased the LAAHNC has decided to continue with these meetings.
We anticipate the FAA’s process of reviewing the LAAHNC’s petitions for the establishment of mandatory regulations for helicopter flights above Los Angeles County will be a lengthy one. Additionally, we affirm our belief that collaboration between the helicopter pilots and operators and the LAAHNC will lead to far more favorable and quicker results for all parties involved than regulations.
The PHPA stands resolved to work through the concerns of the citizens of Los Angeles County relating to helicopter noise. We will continue to strive for solutions that are fair and reasonable to all parties. The safety to pilots and the community below will always be our top priority.
Morrie C. Zager