WASHINGTON -- With the proposed Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act unable to get off the ground in
Five Los Angeles-area lawmakers are seeking to attach language to a spending bill that would direct the FAA, within a year after the measure's passage, to begin writing rules to reduce helicopter noise unless it can show that voluntary noise-reduction efforts are working.
The congressmen, all Democrats, call annoying chopper noise "an issue of great importance to our constituents'' in a letter to Rep.
Getting the anti-noise language in the bill would seem a long shot given Republican wariness to increased federal regulation.
The House in 2011 rejected an effort by San Fernando Valley lawmakers to give Burbank's Bob Hope Airport and the Van Nuys Airport authority to impose nighttime curfews. Additionally, the proposed Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act, which would require the FAA to draw up rules to reduce helicopter noise, has languished in the
"I would hope that we have a shot at it,'' Schiff said in an interview Friday. "It is an approach that gives the voluntary efforts a chance to succeed."
He noted that the FAA has already regulated helicopter noise over
An FAA study earlier this year recommended a voluntary approach rather than government regulation to reduce helicopter noise, citing the complexity of the region's airspace and the high number of aircraft involved. FAA officials say they are working with homeowner groups, pilots and others to try to come up with ways to reduce noise, and expect to deliver a progress report in January.
"Residents of the Los Angeles region have been plagued for decades by frequent and disruptive helicopter noise,’’ Schiff and fellow Reps.
"Despite persistent efforts to work on a collaborative basis with stakeholders to reduce the impact of helicopter noise, little has changed,'' the letter said.
Schiff said he and his colleagues are willing to give voluntary efforts a chance but that he's skeptical they will work.
"Patience is running out,'' he said. "There's no relief yet.''
The language the L.A.-area lawmakers are seeking to include in the bill also would direct the secretary of Transportation to adjust helicopter routes if they would reduce noise over Los Angeles neighborhoods, develop and promote "best practices for helicopter hovering and electronic news gathering; conduct outreach to helicopter pilots to inform them of voluntary policies;'' increase awareness of noise-sensitive areas and events; and work with local groups to develop a more comprehensive noise complaint system.