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Helicopter Noise Relief Provision Added to Congressional Appropriations Bill

Under the provision, the FAA will have one year to determine whether self-regulating measures are actually working.

A helicopter manufactured by Robinson Helicopter flies over Dockweiler Beach. Photo credit InSapphoWeTrust / Flickr. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic-ShareAlike license.
A helicopter manufactured by Robinson Helicopter flies over Dockweiler Beach. Photo credit InSapphoWeTrust / Flickr. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic-ShareAlike license.

A provision in an omnibus appropriations bill in Congress should have a direct effect on some residents of South Bay cities, according to a KPCC report. The provision "requires the Federal Aviation Agency to take action on helicopter noise" by forcing the agency to implement recommendations developed last year.

The recommendations are currently voluntary; however, the FAA has a year to see if pilots are following them.

The recommendations call for a potential adjustment of existing helicopter routes; analysis of the safety of flying at higher altitudes; development of best practices for hovering and electronic news gathering; outreach to helicopter pilots to increase awareness of the policies and noise-sensitive areas; development of a more comprehensive noise complaint system; and participation in the ongoing conversation between community representatives and helicopter operators.

The provision was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and in the House of Representatives by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank.

Redondo Beach, Torrance and Palos Verdes surround Torrance Airport, which is home to helicopter manufacturer Robinson Helicopter, a flight school and numerous private helicopters. Multiple South Bay residents testified at a hearing in June 2012 about helicopter noise in the area.

Feinstein; Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California; Schiff; and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Santa Monica introduced a bill last year that would have required the FAA to establish regulations on flight paths and minimum altitudes for helicopter operations in Los Angeles County.

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