Two helicopters await inspection at the Robinson Helicopter Company manufacturing plant in Torrance. The company is the largest helicopter operator at the city airport's and the world's leading manufacturer of civilian helicopters.
Members of Congress from the Los Angeles area want the Federal Aviation Administration to giddy-up on the next steps of trying to reduce helicopter noise in Southern California.
Nine members of Congress signed a letter sent to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta asking him to publish a timeline for when the aviation agency will finish its noise reduction initiative.
In May, the FAA released a report after studying the helicopter noise problem in L.A. through workshops and meetings. The report listed six actions the FAA would “undertake and support,” including evaluating existing helicopter routes to see if they can be modified, as well as exploring if a comprehensive noise complaint system could be implemented.
But the nine federal lawmakers think the FAA isn’t moving fast enough.
“Although nearly five months have passed since the FAA made these commitments, we are concerned that we have not yet seen measurable progress implementing the steps specified in the report,” the letter reads.
They ask the FAA to update them by next month on what progress has been made since the May report and for a detailed outline of when the six action items will be completed.
A spokesperson for the FAA said Huerta would respond to the letter.
Meanwhile, a large group of helicopter pilots, residents, airport operators and representatives from politicians’ offices and the FAA met last month to discuss the six action items.
Bob Anderson is the president of the Los Angeles Area Helicopter Noise Coalition. The residential group has been seeking helicopter noise relief for decades and has been key in enlisting help from members of Congress to do so.
“We’re moving along,” Anderson said. Though he added the progress has been slow.
He said four working groups were established at last month's meeting. They will focus on helicopter route modification, building a noise complaint system, developing best practices and doing outreach to helicopter pilots.