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Should We Regulate Helicopter Noise? (Discussion)

A bill to regulate helicopter noise in Los Angeles County has been introduced in the House and Senate and federal authorities are planning a study on the issue.

As anyone who lives within a few miles of Altadena can attest, from media outlets taking aerial footage of the mama bear and cubs who climbed a tree in the area.

A similar incident happened last month in Montrose-La Crescenta, , near Briggs and Montrose avenues. 

In La Cañada, the deafening thud of propellers generally can be heard during eiher hillsides crumbling down Ocean View Boulevard after heavy rains, or brush fires igniting the foothills in the summer. 

Helicopter noise is an issue all over Los Angeles County, and several local congress members sponsored a bill last summer that would instruct the Federal Aviation Administration to start regulating it. One of them, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, also represents La Cañada, Altadena and Montrose-La Crescenta.

The main sponsor of the bill, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, cited helicopter traffic near the Van Nuys Airport as well as helicopters doing tours of famous people's homes as the main reasons for introducing the bill. 

So far, discussion of the bill has focused on the San Fernando Valley: there was a forum on the issue held in Studio City in January, and the bill received a .

But the bill would apply to all of L.A. County - it would exempt law enforcement, but news choppers would be subject to regulation, according to a congressional staffer who spoke with Patch about the issue on Friday.

The bill could work its way through the House and Senate slowly: the same staffer said the next step is for the FAA to study helicopter noise impacts and issue a report on the subject.


J McNally May 08, 2012 at 06:39 PM
while the notion of one more government regulation makes me cringe, i do think the news copters can be a nuisance. i'm surprised there haven't been any chopper-to-chopper crashes. or have there?
pepper May 09, 2012 at 12:25 AM
I have to agree with you on that. News copters and the constant white and yellow helicopter that the fire department owns causes our windows to rattle on its WAY TO EARLY jaunt to another site. It would be my suggestion to limit their travel to the 210 freeway, unless it it a serious emergency.
Donna Evans May 09, 2012 at 03:36 AM
You make a good point, Pepper. But then the question is: what is "serious?'' Trust me, having six news helicopters thumping over our heads because there's a mountain lion tooling around the foothills (for instance) to me would not be serious. A car over the side of ACH, I'd see as serious.
pepper May 09, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Donna, I agree totally!!! I have lived here my entire life and it has certainly gotten worse. Mountain Lions, Bears and the like I do not consider emergencies (news worthy to some extent), but not serious.
Rudy Whitcomb May 25, 2012 at 11:41 PM
In the South Bay, south of Los Angeles residents of Torrance, Redondo Beach, the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Lomita, Harbor City and San Pedro are subjected to the racket from 30 to 50 low flying helicopters A DAY coming from Torrance Airport and Robinson Helicopter Manufacturing. This nuisance, coming from less than 1,000 pilots and several test pilots from Robinson invade the homes and schools of over 500,000 residents all day every day.

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