Congressional representatives testify in support of helicopter flight restrictions

Air Transportation IndustryAdam SchiffU.S. House Committee on Transportation and InfrastructureFederal Aviation AdministrationHoward Lawrence BermanBrad Sherman

The three Congressional representatives whose districts comprise a large swath of the San Fernando Valley testified before a House panel on Thursday about the need to more strictly regulate helicopters.

Residents have long complained about low-flying helicopters and the noise they produce.

Rep. Howard Berman (D-Van Nuys) has been pushing for House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee to take up the issue for months.

At the panel, he cited “Carmegaddon” and other events as drawing in nearly nonstop helicopter noise as news channels ramped up coverage of the 405 Freeway closure.

“Helicopters were flying over people’s houses with reckless abandon to view the freeway,” Berman testified, according to a transcript provided by his office. “Never have my constituents seen such a heavy volume of helicopter traffic over their homes.”

He was joined by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), who also testified in favor of adopting greater restrictions on flight paths and minimum altitudes for helicopters in county airspace.

Emergency flights and military operations would be exempt from the Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act, which would be implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration.

In a statement, Sherman said Congress needed to give the FAA “the tools to implement new standards related to flight paths and minimum altitudes to reduce overall helicopter noise pollution, and ensure the safety of the helicopter operators in the busy skies over Los Angeles.”

RELATED:

House subcommittee agrees to review helicopter noise

-- Jason Wells, Times Community News

Twitter: @JasonBretWells

Photo: Glendale Police Dept. helicopter pilots looks to access 550 N. Brand Blvd. via the roof during training exercise on Thursday, October 13, 2011. The scenario included shots fired and hostages. Credit: Raul Roa / Staff Photographer

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