Park Labrea News Beverly Press: FAA to create noise complaint system

Aaron Blevins of Park Labrea News Beverly Press reports on helicopter noise:

In response to pressure from homeowners and lawmakers, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is funding and implementing a comprehensive complaint system for residents upset by helicopter noise.

While it may not alleviate the issue, it will enable homeowners and renters to assist the FAA in gathering data to quantify the extent of the annoyance and identify “problem” helicopter operators, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said.

“Of all of the FAA recommendations, I thought this was one of the most significant steps they could take to identify the problems and address them,” he said.

Currently, the helicopter operators are “all pointing fingers at each other” while the public remains frustrated, because residents can’t tell who is “buzzing” their homes, Schiff said.

“This will give residents not only a systematic way to weigh in and alert the FAA of noise problems, but also help identify the bad actors,” he added. “So, I think it’s a very important step forward.”

At the time, Schiff introduced the Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act, which required the FAA to act within one year to reduce noise problems or be forced to put in regulations to alleviate the issue.

In January, the FAA responded, stating that good progress had been made. Officials said a group of entities — the Los Angeles Area Helicopter Noise Coalition, the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association, the FAA, the LAPD and others — had met to discuss the report last September.

When asked whether he believes the FAA will follow through with the complaint system, Schiff said he does not think “that this is something that we’re going to be able to let up on” in any way.

“I also think accountability is going to be key to getting results,” he said.

The congressman said he believes the system will have a positive impact on helicopter operators, who will no longer be anonymous in the sky. They could be called upon to justify their actions if a complaint is filed, Schiff said.

He said his office continues to get complaints from residents all over the district, though he has received feedback that operators are modifying their behavior in helpful ways in some areas.

“I think this system will only accelerate that,” Schiff added.

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By:  Aaron Blevins
Source: Park Labrea News Beverly Press