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Helicopter 'Noise Relief' Bill Garners More Local Support

Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) introduces a resolution in support of federal legislation currently making its way through Congress.

Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) has joined the chorus of voices asking Congress to do something about noisy, low-flying helicopters in Los Angeles neighborhoods.

Feuer introduced a resolution Tuesday asking the California Legislature to support the proposed federal Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act of 2011. A version of the bill is in both houses of Congress.

If passed, the bill would restrict helicopters' flight paths and set minimum altitudes over residential areas. Some exemptions are included for emergency and law enforcement helicopters.

"For far too long, residential neighborhoods have had to deal with increasing noise and other burdens from helicopters,” Feuer said in a press release. “This is a major quality of life issue throughout our region. The California Legislature should urge Congress to act this year.”

Larry Welk, president of the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association, told NBC Los Angeles earlier this year that the legislation, if passed, would not apply to many of the helicopters flying over Los Angeles neighborhoods.

In a letter sent to members, the helicopter pilots association's Board of Directors explained that the bill would exempt all helicopters flown by public agencies such as fire and police departments, the Department of Water and Power and the like.

"Their exemption would insure that the net effect of all this legislation in providing actual reduction of noise affecting the population on the ground would be negligible," the letter states. "These regulations would not solve the 'problem' they set out to solve."

"There's a public perception that there's more helicopter traffic," Welk told NBC Los Angeles. "That's just not true. There used to be six, seven traffic helicopters in the air. News stations that used to have two now have one, some have none. The fact is, this legislation exempts 70 percent of the helicopters that generate the noise."

The association is advising its members to contact local representatives.

In late August,  in the House of Representatives and discouraged a permit to allow commercial helicopter landings on top of the Sofitel hotel across from Beverly Center. The 10-story hotel  in April 2011.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors also expressed . The city of Rancho Palos Verdes also sent a letter to Congress in support of the legislation. The Hollywood United Neighborhood Council voted in favor of the House bill in October.

The Los Angeles City Council has not yet voted on a resolution in support of the bill, introduced by Councilmen Tom Labonge and Paul Koretz in July.

Feuer previously urged Congress to include the measure in the Federal Aviation Administration's long-term funding bill.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein sponsored the Senate bill (S. 2019), and Sen. Barbara Boxer co-sponsored it. In the House, Rep. Howard Berman (D-Valley Village) sponsored the bill (H.R. 2677) and Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) were co-sponsors.

Noise near the Santa Monica Airport

The Santa Monica Airport, where residents living as close to 300 feet from the tarmac have staged protests against air traffic noise and pollution, already has some of the strictest noise ordinances of general aviation airports across the country.

Helicopters are restricted from departing during early morning hours and must restrict noise levels when within 1,500 feet from each end of the runway. In some cases, pilot face fines of up to $2,000 for curfew violations.

Rachel H. May 10, 2012 at 02:45 PM
I see the need for the police/fire and other emergency departments to have use of the skies as needed. I understand that a police helicopter may need to fly low and hover when looking for suspects. Beyond that, I don't see the need for anyone else to be hovering. I live in Sherman Oaks near the 405 and 101 freeways, south of Ventura Boulevard. During Carmaggedon, the helicopters hovered from mid-afternoon on a Friday until about midnight, and then returned by 5:00 AM the next day. There was no emergency, it was simply tearing down a bridge - construction. And they had news crews on the ground. The noise from the helicopters echoed from the buildings and other residences in the area, making it even louder. It seemed like a war-zone, simply for a construction project! I guess I basically feel that news helicopters are somewhat of a nuisance when they are hovering, and should not be allowed to do so. Circling is a little bit better, but they should definitely not be allowed to hover. Hovering helicopters should be reserved for emergencies only - if needed...
shane May 11, 2012 at 03:09 AM
You people bashing the POLICE HELICOPTERS are morons. #1, you live in LA --HELLO? They are out there risking their lives (been shot at, etc) to protect you. If they are orbiting, they generally are on a "Perimeter", looking for generally armed and dangerous suspects...protecting you--duh. You people nowadays are so self entitled, rude, self righteous, and quite frankly, pretty ignorant and intolerant, though you POSE to the contrary. Go move to Solvang, or Newport beach (oh wait, they have those pesky choppers up/down the beach). Yep, as usual, wait until you or your loved ones need help...sing the different tune.
Rudolf Martin May 11, 2012 at 03:22 AM
shane, congratulations on completely missing the point. i think everyone supports effective law enforcement.
shane May 11, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Well bright one, perhaps you missed all the comments. Ya, duh I read the article. My response was to the anti police comments. Give yourself a big pat
Rudolf Martin May 11, 2012 at 06:19 AM
i doubt you understood any of the big words then.
Larry May 11, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Why not bash the police when their behavior is irresponsible? See my earlier comments about the police helicopter flying over my neighborhood a dozen times every Friday and Saturday night enroute to Hermosa Beach. They were being called in for situations that were totally under control. The cop in the air was providing no added value. They were out joy riding in the helicopter and wasting tax payer money. Again, I'm so glad they lost funding for that helicopter, I really do feel much safer now. In fact, believe crime statistics have gone down. IN SUMMARY, I FEEL WHAT THE POLICE WERE DOING WAS UNNECESSARY AND WRONG. CALL THIS BASHING IF YOU LIKE. And, BTW, we still get helicopter support occasionally when (I assume) there is actually a need for it. I'm willing to bet that most police forces clock many unecessary car miles, helicopter hours and man hours every day. You can call this bashing if you like also.
shane May 11, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Pseudo-intellectuals. That big enough for you?
Susan R May 11, 2012 at 03:45 PM
8:39 am on Friday, May 11, 2012 There is no respect anymore when it comes to noise. And, that even comes from a noisy catholic church, Divine Saviour Catholic Church that refuses to lower their amplified sound system. No respect. People have the right to peace and quiet in their own homes. http://www.noisefree.org
shane May 11, 2012 at 08:19 PM
We live in an age where nothing is respected anymore. Some I can understand, but in the most part; its because you people are miserable, unhappy, and inwardly envious/jealous. Enjoy your miserable little lives and jobs today. CHEERS! PS--The rest of you can always move back where you came from, since 90% are not even from here. (by the way, Culver City PD does not have a helicopter, LAPD offers their air support/mutual aid, to help them and you, many times)
justfordb May 11, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Cities that don't own their own police helicopters will call for one from a neighboring city when they need it- which happens all the time. So to say that police don't need helpicopters and do fine without them is an inaccurate statement to make.
Kent McCaman, Captain of Industry May 11, 2012 at 11:29 PM
I wonder how many comments are from people who simply "dog-piled" on the issue because they were swept by the momentum of complaining. I have never considered air traffic in the South Bay to be an annoyance. In fact, I live at the beach and always marvel at the sleek orange Coast Guard helicopter that often does a fly-by very low to the surf. Although it is not a quiet machine, the amazingly tight jet and rotor sound of it is actually beautiful. I never tire of it. And who can hear, then see, a low-flying blimp without enjoying it? Just one more thought, nobody should move next to an airport or a bar and then be surprised by the sounds in their neighborhood. The obvious should be expected.
Susan R May 12, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Yes, but it is a different story when you move next to a church that has always been quiet and then a new priest comes in and spoils the peace and quiet by turning it into a noisy church, like Divine Saviour Catholic Church in Cypress Park did. You do not expect that a once quiet church would ever turn into a noisy one and put up an amplified sound system that blasts their tape recording 6 times a day every day. No respect. No noise. No one or organization is above the law.
Juliam May 22, 2012 at 04:52 PM
The copter noise increased tremendously. I am recovering from surgery in Santa Monica- nice neighborhood. Used to be nice and quiet. Today It has been 3 and a half hours of helicopter noise that is non-stop. It is not police helicopter, but I think all the sight seeing helicopters and others. This one has been non-stop. Please, somebody stop this!
terri towery July 02, 2012 at 04:20 AM
I have lived in the neighborhood south of downtown Culver City for 16 years, and the helicopter noise has lately gotten awful here too. Last night (Saturday) I was awakened twice by low-flying helicopters, once at 3:30 a.m. and once at 4:15 a.m. They buzz back and forth all the time now, sometimes hovering for no reason. Last week I watched one hover for 5 minutes over Trader Joe's at 7:00 a.m. while I was waiting for the commuter bus. There was no reason other than the pilot's joyride. This formerly quiet, lovely neighborhood, and our popular downtown, is feeling a lot like a war zone now.
Synova Michelle July 16, 2012 at 04:59 PM
I live next to the Grove in West Hollywood. We wake up 4 times a week 1-3 am to a police helicopter hovering 4 blocks away. Going around in continuous circles. There's no crime being committed. I find it hard to believe that in our safe expensive neighborhood theres a crime being commited in the SAME spot 3-4 times a week. Obviously the PD gets tax dollars for flying there helicopter and need to fill its quota so they don't get stiffed for funding. I get it we need to be protected. But can't you "practice" somewhere else once in awhile? And not in the early hours?
Rusty Shackleford August 03, 2012 at 08:44 PM
"We live in an age where nothing is respected anymore." This, coming from someone who has done little but respond with snide and snarky comments at residents who live in the area and pay for these officers' salary while being constantly assaulted by unnecessary helicopter noise. Inwardly envious/jealous? Of what...being obnoxious to people? Perhaps some people might be envious of being able to be obnoxious on such a massive level - but I guarantee that it is not the majority of us local residents that are jealous of such a thing. We're actually opposed to being obnoxious. It doesn't surprise me that our concerns would be lost on certain individuals who treat that sort of behavior as acceptable. Also - nice display of hatred and intolerance there, assuming that 90% of us/residents are illegal immigrants. It seems as if you are either an aspiring peace officer or are already in the ranks, given your profile picture - you certainly have the obnoxious part nailed down. Maybe you should apply for their aerial division? Cheers indeed.
Mishka August 03, 2012 at 10:07 PM
if only we could get congressman to pay the same attention to small planes and jets out of SMO...which are NOT necessary for safety. Rather, they are for convenience and pleasure. Often one might as well have a helicopter overhead...the only difference is it goes on ALL DAY, rather than for an hour or so while they are looking for suspects.
LASpurs August 03, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Absolutely agree with that, I live off Woodcliff and the weekend of Carmaggedon 1 was just a nightmare. The din from the helicopters lasted day and night for 4 or 5 days. No doubt it will be just as bad in September when they shut the 405 again.....
scott ferguson August 04, 2012 at 12:57 AM
I live in WeHo just south of Sunset (west end). Our neighborhood is virtually crime free (beyond domestic disputes and thefts from mainly unlocked cars). But the main use for sheriff's helicopters - which is frequent - seems to be to fly low and beam the light on crowds in front of the clubs pre- and post-concerts to scare the drug dealers away. It rarely is accompanied by other audible police action. It is annoying at times, but it seems to be effective. The couple of years though of the constant Britney/Paris/Lindsay pyschodramas, mainly playing out around here, though were a nightmare with the news choppers.
Elke Heitmeyer August 04, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Your input is needed in this legislation. That is why Berman and the FAA are holding the hearing on Monday. Some restrictions should be put on the police helicopters. Please make your opinion heard on Monday 8/6. Noise pollution increases our stress level.
nonoise August 04, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Here is a link to some resources: You have to scroll down. It is under the heading of NOISE GROUPS FOCUSED ON AIRPORT ISSUES. http://www.noisefree.org/links.php
George Martin August 05, 2012 at 01:00 AM
This seems like a solution without a problem. I live not far from the Sheriff's station. When choppers do fly by to land there, even as they get very low, the noise lasts about 20 seconds. Similarly, circling police helicopters are often necessary and not that frequent in my neighborhood. Admittedly, the saturation coverage of celebutante escapades got to be a little excessive, but we haven't had much of that lately (and I don't live near the 405.). I also think that kind of notoriety and news coverage actually helps our little community as a global destination. I don't like the idea of putting limits on altitude that might affect flight safety. But maybe limits on hovering times and hovering altitudes for news choppers might be appropriate.
Skraeling August 06, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Well, you are being a bit dramatic, but yes, the Police are out there. But, now we have helicopters at all hours, not to mention flights from Burbank Airport beginning at 7:30 am...Then, we have the super rich and the entertainers and the politicians who fly out of Van Nuys but get there by helicopter..then we have the "show the flag" helicopters that travel in 3's.. I understand why people become violent..lack of sleep and lack of quiet.....that alone will produce people that commit crimes...Stop the helicopters...except in extreme cases...
Katheryn September 30, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Tell does this sound familiar, I have provided a link to a story on the Temecula Patch. Please read the story and watch the video in the story. Add this to all your facebook accounts, get the word out. http://temecula.patch.com/articles/citizen-reader-shares-mining-sounds
Tim Sole March 29, 2013 at 08:39 PM
Well, if the liberal hypocrites aren't out in force on this one, no noise, not in my backyard, I deserve it because I'm better than you, wow, what a group of whiners.........
Dan Charney March 29, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Don't think most people object to effective use of choppers for serious law enforcement or medi-vac- it's the permits for the celebrity stuff I would love to see stopped-
Kelly Sarkisian March 29, 2013 at 09:47 PM
I'm kind of surprised that anyone would want the use of helicopters halted for police and fire. How foolish is that? The helicopters are only used or important functions. I agree the civilian uses may be excessive and need to be regulated. The legislation will exempt police/fire from the law as there is no way the legislation would pass without the exemption. The alternative would be a mess, bad guys would run wild, wildfires would burn thousands of homes ect. For those advocating for the use of drones: who is funding that? Costs of purchase, People to fly them, people to maintain them ect. Huge costs to the taxpayer. No thanks. For those that assume they know what the helicopters are doing when they see them? Really, how do you know...mind reader, physic reader? Go back to yelling at the kids on your lawn!
Robert Keane March 30, 2013 at 02:46 PM
I think replacing Police helicopters with a drone is a great idea. The current problem is that the FAA does not allow drones to be flown in the US (there are exceptions). The General Atomics Predator drone uses a snowmobile engine to fly for 18-20 hours at up to 25,000 feet. You never hear it. As opposed to a Police Helicopter (The Sheriff's use A-Stars) that have a range of only 400 miles and usually fly only 4-5 hours a day. A new Police helicopter costs about $2 million, The Predator is twice that, but fly's three to four times as long at a greatly reduced maintenance and fuel cost. One or two Predator's could replace every police helicopter in the southbay. The only thing to be seen is if it could be civillianized enough for Police use and still fly the same missions with the added weight, and if it is fast enough to follow pursuits. I'm hoping with the wind-down in Afghanistan that General Atomics looks to the civillian market for the next generation of drones.
shane March 30, 2013 at 05:54 PM
@ Robert, youre a crack. Ha, drones and manned police helicopters are entirely two different entities--applications; Apples/tomatoes. You probably think a police camera on every corner, could cut down on police officers too. Funny (not) how everybody is an expert nowadays..chimes in. Your assertion of replacing drones w/ manned police helicopters, is not only way off, but down right ludicrous. Dont quit your desk job, tell the boss his wife sounded great at the Xmas party, and a college education--academia (if you have), doesnt mean squat. Have a nice day
J. Sommers April 02, 2013 at 05:47 AM
B wadsworth: How does one go about finding out why a helicopter was flying in a circle overhead in their neighbourhood for 45 minutes? You said you need the time and location? But where do you enter it to find out who the perp was and what it was for?

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