Noise Over Helicopters

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is picking up the mantle on Los Angeles helicopter noise issues for departing lawmaker Howard Berman (D-Calif.).  Rep. Berman, who lost his election in November, has been a strong advocate for using operating restrictions for reducing aircraft noise in the Los Angeles area and has teamed with Schiff on a number of those issues.

Schiff has pledged to reintroduce Berman’s Los Angeles Helicopter Noise Relief Act next year, which seeks altitude and flight path restrictions for helicopters.

Schiff recently discussed voluntary measures with FAA, but says such actions would not be enough “to address the real quality of life and safety issues raised by these persistent flyovers.”

Helicopter flight path limits has support in the Senate, as well. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) has introduced similar legislation and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) had tried to get legislation included in both aviation and highway reauthorization bills mandating routes over both L.A. and Long Island in New York.

While Schumer was unsuccessful in L.A., he was able to persuade the Department of Transportation to fast-track rules mandating certain flight paths over New York.

Helicopter Association International has opposed such legislative fixes to noise issues, saying such provisions could set a national precedent of legislating local noise issues at the federal level.

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