Valley Congressman Tries To Limit Helicopter Noise With Bill
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A San Fernando Valley Congressman is attempting to pass legislation that would reduce helicopter noise over residential neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act of 2011 was introduced by Congressman Howard Berman in July.
“I’ve been contacted by a huge numbers of constituents about this issue. The problem peaked on the Carmageddon weekend, but it’s an ongoing problem that’s particularly bad in certain parts of Los Angeles,” Berman said.
The legislation was discussed Thursday at a meeting of House Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee in Washington.
San Fernando Valley residents say they have had enough of helicopters flying at all times of the day and night over their homes.
“We’ve met with the police and fire and they make it clear to us their procedure is not to hover for safety reasons. They go in circles around an incident,” said Richard Close of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association.
“It’s a result of two things. One, helicopters, many of them we know are tourism helicopters where people pay to fly over celebrity homes and then we have paparazzi who hire helicopters to hover close over homes, trying to get pictures of celebrities as part of their job function,” Berman added.
The Federal Aviation Administration has refused to regulate helicopter flights above Los Angeles and currently there are no federal regulations for helicopter traffic.
“My bill simply authorizes the FAA to create sensible regulations, regulating helicopter traffic in Los Angeles County for purposes of both noise reduction and safety,” Berman told KNX.
The act would force the FAA to restrict helicopter flight paths and set minimum altitudes within one year.
Following Thursday’s committee meeting, Berman said the FAA seemed reluctant to impose helicopter noise regulations because of the lengthy legal process required.
Berman must now decide if his bill should be a singular piece of legislation or if it should be added to a current FAA bill that is now in Congress.