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Lieu Supports Helicopter Noise Reduction Bill

Supporters said the noise caused by helicopters in Los Angeles and Redondo Beach is excessive.

A resolution urging President Obama and Congress to approve pending legislation to reduce helicopter noise in Los Angeles County was introduced in Sacramento by State Senator Ted Lieu on Friday.

The bill argues that local residents "suffer intrusive and disruptive low-flying helicopter traffic above their neighborhoods." The bill places much of the blame on media helicopters covering news events, tourism helicopters and helicopter flight testing in Torrance.

"Los Angeles County residents who have endured the cacophony of seemingly endless helicopter flights over their homes need relief,” Lieu said in a release. “When one can’t sleep or talk because of helicopter noise, it hurts the quality of life.”

Among other things, the pending legislation in Congress would ask the Federal Aviation Administration to evaluate helicopter routes, altitudes and hovering practices before reporting back to Congress about possible solutions to noise complaints. Unlike fixed wing aircraft traffic, the FAA does not currently regulate helicopter traffic in Los Angeles.

The Redondo Beach City Council voted last year to support a previous version of the bill.

While the current bill has the backing of U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer as well as U.S. Reps. Adam Schiff, Janice Hahn, Brad Sherman and Henry Waxman, it has met resistance from the helicopter industry.

According to Lieu, the FAA is "very much aware of the Los Angeles community's concerns with helicopter noise" and has appeared receptive to helicopter noise studies in the area.

Recently, the movement of six massive coke drums from Redondo Beach's King Harbor to the Chevron refinery in El Segundo prompted media coverage via helicopter from local news stations. The helicopters, which hovered above the South Bay around 11 p.m. prompted complaints from some residents.

South Redondo Beach and the Hollywood Riviera residents have also complained of helicopter noise arising from operations and flight testing at Torrance Airport, home to helicopter manufacturer Robinson Helicopter. Many of those residents testified to that noise at a hearing in June 2012.

If introduced, the bill, known as Senate Joint Resolution 7, would exempt emergency service helicopters for any restrictions.

The bill was sponsored by Citizens for Quiet Helicopters and officially has the support of neighboring city Lomita.

maureen March 19, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Would love to add the planes that advertise with banners along the beach to this bill. Is that advertising even effective?
John Bailey March 19, 2013 at 05:25 PM
The City of Torrance is in the process of allowing another banner advertising company at the Torrance Airport.
Tim Sole March 19, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Wow, I guess the huge unemployment rate, education and current debt can wait, while we take care of the those darn pesky helicopters. Oh and while your at it, shut down Robinson Helicopters, we don't need no stinking jobs in the south-bay, we need to run the simple commoner folks right out of here............. Great job Senator, keep up the good work!
Rudy Whitcomb March 20, 2013 at 12:21 AM
The FAA isnt the solution. The FAA is the problem.
Wolfman March 21, 2013 at 04:14 PM
It is not only helicopter noise it is all low flying aircraft noise over the beach city's the FAA does not care since they opened up air space to accommodate the increased air traffic from LAX,Long Beach,Orange County airports flying over the beach city's. I lived in North Redondo for over 35 years and now hear jet nose all nite long even as I write this post.

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