Airport Advisory Council Backs Measures to Reduce Helicopter NoiseWednesday, October 5, 2011
The Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Council gave its support Oct. 4 to two measures aimed at reducing noisy helicopters.
The council voted 6-2 to back pending legislation in Congress that requires the Federal Aviation Administration to come up with regulations for helicopter operations in Los Angeles County.
In an 8-0 vote, the council supported a petition filed by Beachwood Canyon Neighborhood Association with the FAA to establish a special federal aviation regulation for the Mt. Lee area in Hollywood and Griffith Park that attracts helicopters ferrying tourists to view the famed Hollywood sign.
The petition seeks to limit helicopter flights to no lower than a 2,000 foot altitude.
“If we endorse this motion that will go on the record and put some sway in what they are trying to do,” council member Gerald Silver said, in encouraging passage of supporting the neighborhood association’s petition.
Helicopter flight paths at Van Nuys Airport have been a long-time issue before the advisory council. In recent months the complaints brought before the board have increased, particularly among residents in the Beachwood and Bronson canyon neighborhoods in the Hollywood Hills.
The pending federal legislation sponsored by Rep. Howard Berman was the result of complaints from Valley residents about noise from television news helicopters covering the close of the Santa Monica (405) Freeway in July.
Two council members voted against supporting Berman’s bill because it was not specific enough about which geographic areas to regulate helicopter activity.
“Putting such a large territory (in the bill) can only cause more problems,” member Elliot Sanders said. “We are going to restrict ourselves out of the sky.”
Sanders voted in favor of the Beachwood Canyon petition because it set specific boundaries for the regulation area: Los Feliz Boulevard and Franklin Avenue on the south; Spring Drive on the east: Forest Lawn Drive and Barham Boulevard on the north; and Mulholland Drive and Runyon Canyon on the west.
Both the Berman bill and the neighborhood association petition would exempt police, fire, and other emergency helicopter operations from restrictions.