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Feds Set Up Way For Rich 'Hoods to Complain About Helicopters

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The feds have tried everything to cut down on non-emergency helicopter noise over Los Angeles: they've asked politely. That's it, they've asked politely. But now they're pulling out all the stops: they're going to give people a way to complain about it, officially. Since voluntary regulations put in place last year have failed to do much, several local members of Congress have been pressuring the Federal Aviation Administration for a better fix; now the FAA has announced plans for a year-long, $250,000 "comprehensive helicopter noise complaint system," according to the LA Daily News; an FAA rep says it "will help us better understand what kinds of operations are raising noise concerns — what type of helicopter, what type of operation and what routes." Once that's finally done, they can move ahead with actual plans for noise reduction. The complaint system is required by last year's Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act, which has the specific goal of cutting down on noise around landmarks like the Hollywood Sign and celebrities' houses, so don't expect the flats to get any quieter. The push to regulate Los Angeles's signature noise pollution has been going on since 2011, when Carmageddon brought swarms of choppers to Brentwood during the weekend-long closure of the 405. There's no regulating noise from police or other emergency helicopters, so this is all about tourist and news choppers, which in turn means it's mostly about wealthy and vocal hillside neighborhoods. ("The noise is so bad, you find yourself putting a screener on pause because you can't hear it," one film editor told The Hollywood Reporter last year.) Burbank Rep. Adam Schiff acknowledges "it was the pressure from homeowner groups that contributed to forcing the FAA to act," and the new report system will help everyone figure out just who is complaining: "If 75 percent of the complaints are coming from five people … that says a lot about the problem," the exec director of the Los Angeles Area Helicopter Operators Association tells KPCC.
· Helicopter noise complaint system to be launched by Federal Aviation Administration [LADN]
· Feds Cracking Down On Helicopter Noise Over Landmarks And Celebrities' Houses [Curbed LA]
· Feds Hoping Helicopters Just Agree to Be Quieter on Their Own [Curbed LA]