Congressman Henry Waxman (Dem-33rd District) has joined fellow representatives Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman, Karen Bass, Janice Hahn, Tony Cardenas, and Alan Lowenthal, and Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer in sending a letter to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta to request that the agency release its schedule for completing the next steps identified in the FAA’s Report on the Los Angeles Helicopter Noise Initiative.
At a field hearing hosted by Rep. Schiff in June, the FAA promised to complete several actions, and now almost five months later, has yet to report back to Congress.
“I hear repeatedly from constituents that low lying helicopters are causing havoc in their daily lives — interrupting sleep, wracking nerves and rattling homes,” said Waxman. “The FAA promised us that they would execute a strategy to provide relief to LA residents, but it’s been over four months and we’ve yet to see any concrete plans. It’s time for the FAA to offer some firm solutions. And if the FAA won’t act, Congress must.”
The full letter is below:
The Honorable Michael P. Huerta
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20591
Dear Administrator Huerta:
We are writing to request that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) release its schedule for completing the next steps identified in the FAA’sReport on the Los Angeles Helicopter Noise Initiative, published in May.
As you know, the FAA committed in the Report to “undertake and support the following actions:”
— Evaluate existing helicopter routes to identify feasible modifications that could lessen impact on residential areas and noise-sensitive landmarks.
— Analyze whether helicopters could safely fly at higher altitudes in certain areas along helicopter routes and at specific identified areas of concern.
— Develop and promote best practices for helicopter hovering and electronic news gathering.
— Conduct outreach to helicopter pilots to increase awareness of noise-sensitive areas and events.
— Explore a more comprehensive noise complaint system.
— Continue the collaborative engagement between community representatives and helicopter operators, with interaction with the FAA.
Although nearly five months have passed since the FAA made these commitments, we are concerned that we have not yet seen measurable progress implementing the steps specified in the report.
We understand FAA officials recently attended a collaborative meeting in Los Angeles between community representatives and helicopter operators, and have upcoming meetings planned. We are pleased to see this ongoing dialogue.
However, moving forward, we believe that it is critical for the FAA to develop and release to all stakeholders a schedule to complete the six steps outlined in the Report on the Los Angeles Helicopter Noise Initiative.
Having a clear process for how and when the FAA will complete the report’s next steps will greatly benefit the efforts to develop safe guidelines that reduce helicopter noise.
We ask the FAA to provide us with an update on its progress to date and a detailed schedule for completing actions specified in the report by the end of November, which marks the six month anniversary of the report’s release. Thank you for your close attention to this issue.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.