LA City Council Endorses Helicopter Regulation Bill

The bill would set minimum flight altitude regulations on helicopters.

Northeast Los Angeles residents are no strangers to the sounds of Helicopters hovering low overhead. 

Whether it Police helicopters pursuing a suspect, or news crews angling for an aerial view of a developing story--Angelenos are well acquainted with the sounds of the "chopper." 

However, On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted in favor of legislation proposed by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Valley Village) that would provide some relief from the sound of buffeting blades.

From the LA Times:

The council voted to endorse a bill by Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Valley Village), who held a public hearing last week in Sherman Oaks to hear from residents whose neighborhoods are affected by noisy, low-flying helicopters.

If passed, the measure would direct the FAA to establish flight paths for helicopters and set minimum altitudes at which they can operate over certain areas of the county.

Support for the bill was non unanimous. Councilmember Richard Alarcon dissented, according to the times, citing concerns that it would prevent law enforcement officials from effectively doing their jobs.

LAPD Northeast Detective Richard Ortiz did not comment directly about the bill, but said that helicopters played a critical role in crime enforcement.

"I think they are very important, they are the first ones on the scene," he said. "If there's an incident, and we know it's involving a red car, the guys in the helicopters are going to be the first ones to get there and get the location of the red car. That kind of thing leads to arrests on a daily basis."



Michael Hampson August 18, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Let's be honest. People are jealous when others can fly in helicopters and they can't. The best analogy would be trains. What type of pollution did trains make when they were first invented? Horrible smoke. Did they stop trains from running? No, but the technology changed. What about steel mills? Pittsburgh skies used to be filled with smoke. Did they shut down the plants? No, they changed the technology. What about helicopters? What is happening with helicopter technology? I'm sure no one has done any research in this department. In the United States, here are a few rotorcraft research facilities: Aeromechanics Flight Vehicle Research and Technology Division (NASA), Flight Vehicle Research and Technology Division (NASA), UC Santa Cruz NASA Ames Research Center, Georgia Tech Rotorcraft Center of Excellence, The Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center, Rotorcraft Center, The FXB Center for Rotary and Fixed Wing Air Vehicle Design, University of Dayton Research Institute and the Penn State Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence. Canada has their National Research Council Canada. And here are a few in Europe: ONERA (French Aerospace Lab), DLR - (Germany's National Research Center for Aeronautics and space) and NLR in The Netherlands. What are the goals of these research facilities? Better materials, better rotorblades, higher fuel efficient engines, lower sound levels and a better passenger experience. Instead of hate, educate.
frank van neutra lautner August 18, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Yep... you're definitely trolling.
Michael Hampson August 18, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Once again: 1) No one is commenting on the fact that if they owned a helicopter, were offered a ride in a helicopter or rescued in a helicopter, that they would not complain about helicopter noise. 2) Helicopter haters refuse to tell us if they will be the first card carrying member of the "Helicopter Haters Club." This is where you carry a printed card in your wallet which states, "I refuse to be rescued, for any reason, by any helicopter (public or private) because helicopters make too much noise."
frank van neutra lautner August 18, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Michael, your mother is calling you.
shuttup HAMson September 19, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Hi Hamson. looks like you're the VERY proud owner of a helicopter (and doesn't look like you even live in highland park: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/michael-hampson/4b/106/558 How self-righteous you are being for the sake of your own vested interests. Here is my perspective, before about 2 years ago, I always felt like I got away from L.A. when I arrived to my home on Mt. Washington. Since then the helicopter traffic seems to have increased exponentially. I can't tell which they are, but I suspect it is mostly media. Even if it is police, it's really looking like they are hanging out up there 24/7 rather than responding to specific calls. I am writing this now as the third helicopter of the morning passes overhead, just shy of 11:00 am. I personally love the designs of helicopters. I find them to be the most graceful of all mankind's very noisy means of traveling. At the same time I feel we make waaay too much noise doing any of it, and create far too much pollution. I sense we can do better and don't for many reasons. I would love to fly in one and will always be thankful when they are used to save lives in emergencies, and this is not jealousy, just appreciation. Jealousy would require that I think your helicopter makes you a more complete human being than I am, and I don't. I will continue to impose checks on how we utilize versus abuse their benefits in the spaces I share with other human beings outside my little bubble. To answer you directly Hamson, I would not carry your card in my wallet, though I would have second thoughts about getting in your helicopter. Question for you: I wonder- how much time you've spent in Highland park (outside of your helicopter)?


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