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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Council Supports Helicopter Noise Relief

• Legislation Is in the Works at the Federal Level

BY BILL KOENEKER

The Malibu City Council voted unanimously this week to support the Los Angeles Residential Noise Relief Act of 2013, but not without hearing from a longtime helicopter news reporter, who cautioned that helicopter noise can also come from emergency craft.
He said local media woke up to what bothers residents when reporters were interviewing residents during the so-called Carmageddon episode during the 405 freeway closure.
 “Reporters asked, ‘How did you survive?’ The answer was complaints about the helicopter noise,” said Jeff Baugh, who noted the practice used to be for news helicopters hovering at one place at one time.
“We stopped that practice. We represent a small portion of the noise. We hear complaints of police helicopters. They are out there for a reason. So too fire and the Coast Guard.” He said civil aircraft including the flying paparazzi are the culprits.
Residents in Malibu and many other neighborhoods throughout the county have been dealing with the noise disturbance caused by the low flying copters for many years.
Everyone is quick to point out how helicopters can provide a tremendous benefit when used by health officials or law enforcement.
However, the growing use of the flying devices for such activities as sightseeing, area tours, filming and paparazzi has caused what some call an “unacceptable intrusion” on the quality of life for local residents due to copter traffic.
Unlike airplane traffic, helicopters are not currently regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration or any other agency, according to city officials.
House Resolution 456 introduced by Malibu Congressmember Henry Waxman along with Representative Adam Schiff, Janice Hahn and Brad Sherman, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer introduced Senate Bill 208.
The measures would direct the FAA to develop regulations for helicopter operations in Los Angeles County that would include requirements relating to flight paths and altitudes in order to reduce helicopter noise, pollution and increased safety in residential areas.
Councilmember Skylar Peak sent a letter of support for HR 456 to Waxman last month. Mayor Lou La Monte and Peak were asking the full council to support it.

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