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Letter to Tom Petri, Chairman, Subcommittee on Aviation and Jerry Costello, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Aviation


Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Howard L. Berman (CA-28) sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Aviation Subcommittee requesting they convene a panel to examine helicopter flight operations in metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles County. Earlier this year, Congressman Berman introduced H.R. 2677, the Los Angeles Helicopter Noise Relief Act, to address the growing safety and noise concerns among Valley residents caused by low-flying helicopters above residential neighborhoods.

"I have heard from many Valley residents about the nuisance caused by intrusive, low-flying helicopter traffic above their neighborhoods," said Congressman Howard Berman. "It's time my colleagues in Congress hear these complaints first-hand and understand why it is necessary that the FAA bring order to the skies above Los Angeles and at long last hold helicopter operators accountable."

The full text of the letter can be found below.

September 23, 2011

The Honorable Tom Petri The Honorable Jerry Costello
Chairman Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Aviation Subcommittee on Aviation
2165 Rayburn House Office Building 2163 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Petri and Ranking Member Costello,

I am writing to respectfully request that the Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee convene a panel to examine issues related to helicopter flight operations in metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles County -- and in particular noise and safety concerns related to helicopter operations in such areas.

As the author of H.R. 2677, the Los Angeles Helicopter Noise Relief Act, I strongly believe that Congress has the responsibility to ensure that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the authority to respond to helicopter noise and safety concerns in a manner consistent with its authority over fixed wing aircraft. The residents of Los Angeles County are unique in living in a metropolitan area with an extraordinarily high number of helicopter flights per day. As many of my constituents in the San Fernando Valley know all too well, current law lacks clarity as to the FAA's rulemaking authority in respect to setting flight paths and minimum altitudes for helicopter flight operations. This resultant regulatory lapse has allowed helicopters to operate with impunity over residential areas of Los Angeles, with no regard to their impact over my constituents' safety or quality of life.

As discussions continue on the passage of a long-term FAA reauthorization bill, I believe the Subcommittee would benefit from hearing testimony on the unique nature of helicopter noise and safety concerns in Los Angeles County. I stand ready to assist you in any capacity necessary to ensure that the Members of the Subcommittee are given the opportunity to hear from those impacted by helicopter noise and discuss legislation to provide the FAA with much needed authority regarding this issue.


Member of Congress

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