Lawmakers introduced legislation Tuesday to help minimize the noise and safety concerns caused by low-flying helicopters above residential neighborhoods.
Congressman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and other Los Angeles County congressional leaders introduced the Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act, which would require the Federal Aviation Administration to impose regulations on flight paths and set minimum altitudes for helicopters flying in Los Angeles County.
The lawmakers say the proposed legislation addresses the high volume of residential complaints regarding the level of noise from low-flying helicopters.
Schiff said that residents living in the Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood, Glendale, Pasadena and other parts of the San Gabriel Valley are especially impacted by the “intrusive, disruptive and often non-emergency” helicopter traffic above their neighborhoods.
Schiff attributed much of the noise to celebrity news media that follow stars on mundane errands throughout the area.
“The residents in these areas deserve peace and quiet, and if the FAA won’t act, Congress must pass this legislation to give residents the relief they need,” he said in a written statement.
The proposed bill is also intended to minimize commercial aircraft delays while exempting first responders and military aircrafts from the regulations.
Congressmen Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Brad Sherman, D-Calif., were also included in the bill.
“I hear complaints about helicopter noise from every part of the 33rd District—from Malibu to Brentwood to Benedict Canyon,” said Waxman. “FAA regulation of the thunderous helicopter traffic over LA is long overdue. And if the FAA won’t act, Congress must.”
“The active participation of the FAA, community leaders and the helicopter industry can also help lead to substantial progress in developing solutions to better balance public safety and relief from excessive helicopter noise,” Sherman added.
Lawmakers hope the bill will go into effect within 12 months of being signed into law.