Los Angeles County residents could soon see some relief from the seemingly constant helicopter noise overhead.
Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced legislation Monday that would require the Federal Aviation Administration to establish regulations on flight paths and minimum altitudes for helicopter operations in Los Angeles County.
Other Los Angeles congressional colleagues, including Congressmen Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) also support the bill.
“Los Angeles area residents living in Glendale, Pasadena, the Valley, the Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood and other areas are especially affected by intrusive, disruptive and often non-emergency related helicopter traffic above their neighborhoods,” said Congressman Schiff, who represents Hollywood and formerly represented parts of the San Gabriel Valley.
The Congressman specifically mentioned the canyons around the Rose Bowl, the Hollywood Hills and West Hollywood as places where noise was particularly bad or helicopters were particularly plentiful as they follow celebrities.
"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.
Feinstein noted that in addition to reducing noise, the bill would increase safety and minimize commercial aircraft delays while exampting first responders and military aircraft from its limitations.
Last year, Schiff and Feinstein wrote to Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urging him to form a working group at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to solicit input from local communities and stakeholders on helicopter noise and safety issues across Los Angeles County. For the past year, that working group has been meeting with local residents, stakeholders and officials to discuss ways to move forward and adequately address the concerns and complaints of affected residents.
Under the proposed legislation, the FAA would have to set the guidelines within a year of the bill being signed into law.