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SANTA MONICA : Residents Protest Helicopter Noise Near Airport

Westside residents turned out Monday to complain to the Santa Monica Airport Commission about helicopter noise and an airport leasing plan, but the commission postponed action on both issues.

In a packed meeting in the Santa Monica City Council chambers, dozens of West Los Angeles and Santa Monica residents complained that a commercial helicopter sightseeing operation, Heli USA, generates intense--and noisy--air traffic.

“My house shakes when they go over,” said Brooke Westbrook, a member of the Neighbors of Santa Monica Airport residents group.

Commission chairman John Ezell suggested curbing the number of helicopter flights or imposing other restrictions, but city staff members said such measures must first be reviewed by the city attorney’s office. Although Heli USA was targeted by many of the speakers at Monday’s meeting, the commission agreed that other helicopter companies may be contributing to the noise problem.

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The issue was delayed until next month’s meeting.

Also held over was a plan to solicit bids from companies interested in securing a 20-year lease on 6.5 acres in the airport’s southwest corner. Joined by airport Commissioner Brian Ouzounian, some residents said they fear the lease may allow expanded jet service and other noisy operations.


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