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Chopper noise: Schiff, Feinstein express 'strong disappointment' to FAA on progress



A man signs a petition drawn up by the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association that outlines suggestions for how the FAA should regulate helicopters in Los Angeles.
A man signs a petition drawn up by the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association that outlines suggestions for how the FAA should regulate helicopters in Los Angeles.
Erika Aguilar/KPCC

It's been nearly a year since the Federal Aviation Administration published a report on its Los Angeles Helicopter Noise Initiative. Senator Dianne Feinstein and Burbank Congressman Adam Schiff — both Democrats — sent a letter to the FAA on Monday to complain about the agency's lack of progress implementing the agency's own list of six action items

In the letter, Feinstein and Schiff express their "strong disappointment" with the FAA's followup to its May, 2013 report. 

The lawmakers say they've received just one update that didn't include a "detailed schedule, as we had previously requested, and lacks metrics on how progress will be demonstrated."

Language included in this year's spending bill for the FAA requires the agency to show results within a year. But Congress didn't allocate any extra money for the FAA to carry out the job. 

Lawmakers say they're concerned the FAA "relies too heavily" on volunteer stakeholders to do the agency's work monitoring helicopter noise. The FAA's May 2013 report says the agency will work "in cooperation with local stakeholders" to improve the situation. In its January 30th report to Congress, the FAA said it would provide local groups with experts and technical information.

Feinstein and Schiff also want the FAA to expand its oversight to the entire Los Angeles County area. They write: "Los Angeles County residents have been plagued by frequent and disruptive helicopter noise for far too long and deserve relief."

A spokesman for the FAA says "we received the letter and are reviewing it."

FAA'S SIX ACTION ITEMS: