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.