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Should We Regulate Helicopter Noise? (Discussion)

A bill to regulate helicopter noise in Los Angeles County has been introduced in the House and Senate and federal authorities are planning a study on the issue.

As anyone who lives within a few miles of Kinneloa Mesa can attest, from media outlets taking aerial footage of the mama bear and cubs who climbed a tree in the area.

Plainly, many people quickly became fed up with the racket; here are excerpts of some of the comments from our stories and Facebook feed yesterday:

  • There have been three helicopters, at times four, flying above these bears for almost six hours. You think mamma might be a little scared by now? - marcia coppess
  • You want to see a bear - go to the zoo. Meanwhile, get the choppers and people out of there and let the bears have some peace and quiet. Has anyone considered what it costs to operate a chopper, even for just one hour? This whole thing is totally ridiculous! - Althea Frahm
  • I understand it's "news" and all, but get the shot for a few seconds and MOVE ON! I live down by the 210 and I could hear them all day! Good grief! Have some respect for the people who live around there, quit scaring the bears and STOP! - Karin Luster

Helicopter noise is an issue all over Los Angeles County, and several local congress members sponsored a bill last summer that would instruct the Federal Aviation Administration to start regulating it.  One of them, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, also represents Altadena.

The main sponsor of the bill, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, cited helicopter traffic near the Van Nuys Airport as well as helicopters doing tours of famous people's homes as the main reasons for introducing the bill. 

So far, discussion of the bill has focused on the San Fernando Valley: there was a forum on the issue held in Studio City in January, and the bill received a .

But the bill would apply to all of L.A. County - it would exempt law enforcement, but news choppers would be subject to regulation, according to a congressional staffer who spoke with Patch about the issue on Friday.

The bill could work its way through the House and Senate slowly: the same staffer said the next step is for the FAA to study helicopter noise impacts and issue a report on the subject.

Our question to you is should we regulate helicopter noise?  What sort of regulations would you favor?  Does helicopter noise bother you or do you just tune it out? Do you think law enforcement should be exempt from regulation?  Please let us know in the comments section below.

Patrick Lee May 04, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Here here. I could hear them from miles away all afternoon. ridiculous.
Pat May 05, 2012 at 05:42 AM
A one-time event like the bears isn't a problem. It's the helicopter noise from all the hiking 'incidents' that are a real nuisance, as well as a waste of money and resources. We need to regulate the hikers who think they know what they're doing. Thankfully there have been no helicopter accidents during these rescues.
Laura Monteros May 05, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Or, hear! hear! ;-)
Laura Monteros May 05, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I hope this includes following high speed, low speed, mid speed chases for hours on end, as well. Helicopters are valuable in assisting law enforcement, traffic reporting, and yes, lost or stuck hikers. It's ridiculous to hover over a few poor bears who just want to be left in peace. Though the video of the guy with the cell phone running from the bear in Montrose was pretty funny....
Katheryn September 30, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Tell does this sound familiar, I have provided a link to a story on the Temecula Patch. Please read the story and watch the video in the story. Add this to all your facebook accounts, get the word out. http://temecula.patch.com/articles/citizen-reader-shares-mining-sounds

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