Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Congressman Howard Berman (D-Valley Village) last week sent a letter to Michael Huerta, acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, highlighting the need for regulations on helicopters flying over the Los Angeles region.
Text of the letter follows:
September 14, 2012
Mr. Michael P. Huerta
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20591
Dear Acting Administrator Huerta:
We are writing to bring to your attention that on August 27, a helicopter had to make an emergency landing in densely populated Hollywood, California. Thankfully, the news media aircraft landed safely in a parking lot without causing injury, but this incident highlights the need to develop regulations that protect public safety and improve quality of life in the Los Angeles region.
Los Angeles airspace is used by an unusually large number of helicopters. They tend to fly low, as the media helicopter that had to make an emergency landing was flying, and they regularly fly over densely populated areas. During events such as the upcoming closure of the 405 freeway in Los Angeles later this month, helicopter activity in the area is especially acute. Our constituents fear that without future action by the FAA, it is only a matter of time before another similar incident, or worse, may happen again.
As you know, we have asked the FAA to develop a set of regulations that relieve residents of the often excessive noise and better protect the public in emergency situations. We thank you for directing the FAA Western Pacific Regional Office to begin this process. Regional Administrator Withycombe's recent commitment, at a public meeting, to evaluate a full set of options by next summer to address the risks and concerns raised by helicopters in the region is very encouraging. We hope you will continue to prioritize this matter in order to ensure that the region's report is completed on time.
Thank you for your time and attention to this important matter. If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
United States Senator
Member of Congress