07.24.18

Schiff, Feinstein and Harris Urge FAA to Reconsider Plans to Terminate Support for Helicopter Noise Complaint System

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris (both D-Calif.) and other members of the Los Angeles delegation sent a letter to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell urging the FAA to reconsider plans to terminate funding for the Los Angeles Automated Noise Complaint System.

In the letter, Schiff, Feinstein and Harris ask the FAA to continue funding the system as well as make improvements to it in order to more accurately track helicopters across Los Angeles County.

In the letter, they write: “The residents of Los Angeles deserve the continued support of the FAA in maintaining the Los Angeles Automated Noise Complaint System. Excessive helicopter noise remains a problem in the Los Angeles County, and we ask the FAA to continue working toward solutions, including by supporting and improving the noise complaint system.”

The letter was signed by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala D. Harris (both D-Calif.), along with Representatives Adam B. Schiff (CA-28), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Brad Sherman (CA-30), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Maxine Waters (CA-43), and Ted W. Lieu (CA-33).

The full text of the letter is below:

The Honorable Dan Elwell

Acting Administrator

Federal Aviation Administration

800 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20591

Dear Acting Administrator Elwell:

We write to express our support for the continuation and improvement of the Los Angeles Automated Noise Complaint System. It is imperative that our constituents have an ability to notify helicopter operators and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about disruptive helicopter noise in their communities.

For over three years now, the Los Angeles noise complaint system has been a tool for residents of Los Angeles County to use in order to address helicopter noise. While the system has not been perfect and could use improvement, it has helped the community work with helicopter pilots and the FAA to address some of the complaints filed through the system.

We understand that the FAA communicated its intention to terminate support for the noise complaint system, citing an ongoing operating cost of $30,000 per year. Given that Congress recently made an additional $1.6 billion available to the FAA, an increase of nearly 10%, the decision to terminate the noise complaint system appears to be less about its very modest expense and more about not wanting to hear complaints from the public of excessive noise. The FAA will not be permitted to ignore this persistent problem and one that affects the quality of life for so many of our constituents by turning off a method for residents to provide feedback on the problem and insist on accountability.

Furthermore, we encourage the FAA to consider improvements to the noise complaint system in order to better track all helicopters and help our constituents use the system. Incorporating data from Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) systems, which will be required for all helicopters by 2020, would ensure that all helicopters in Los Angeles County are reflected in the system. We also believe the noise complaint system should be made available in additional languages, including Spanish.                     

The residents of Los Angeles deserve the continued support of the FAA in maintaining the Los Angeles Automated Noise Complaint System. Excessive helicopter noise remains a problem in the Los Angeles County, and we ask the FAA to continue working toward solutions, including by supporting and improving the noise complaint system. 

Sincerely,