IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 4, 2013
Mrs. Feinstein (for herself and Mrs. Boxer) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
To require the Federal Aviation Administration to prescribe regulations to reduce helicopter noise pollution in residential areas in Los Angeles County, California.
This Act may be cited as
Los Angeles Residential Helicopter
Noise Relief Act of 2013
Congress finds the following:
Residents throughout Los Angeles County suffer intrusive and disruptive low-flying helicopter traffic above their neighborhoods. The unique terrain of canyons and valleys that surround residential neighborhoods in Los Angeles County often concentrate high decibel level noise from the low-flying helicopters in and around Los Angeles County residences. The concentrated noise interrupts daily life for many Los Angeles County residents by drowning out conversations and disrupting sleep cycles.
Los Angeles County is home to a uniquely large concentration of scenic, historic, entertainment, and transportation venues, including sight-seeing, movie studios, movie star homes, outdoor entertainment facilities, Griffith Park, the Hollywood Sign, freeways, and many others, that generate extensive helicopter activity.
Los Angeles County is home to the world’s leading civil helicopter manufacturer that conducts extensive helicopter operational testing across the region.
Despite multiple efforts from several community and homeowner organizations in Los Angeles County to address these disturbances, helicopter traffic in Los Angeles County is not currently regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration or any other agency.
At the request of members of Congress, the Federal Aviation Administration formed an internal working group in July 2012 to solicit input from local communities and stakeholders on helicopter noise and safety issues in Los Angeles County.
As part of that process, several public meetings were held in the fall and summer of 2012 that have allowed the Federal Aviation Administration and stakeholders to hear and better understand the concerns and complaints of affected residents.
The Federal Aviation Administration is scheduled to release a report in May 2013 evaluating a full set of voluntary and regulatory options to reduce helicopter noise and address safety issues in Los Angeles County.
The report is expected to explore how helicopters can be regulated in Los Angeles County in a manner that provides relief to residents from helicopter noise while also meeting the needs of relevant stakeholders, including first responders.
Regulations to reduce helicopter noise pollution in certain residential areas
Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall prescribe regulations for helicopter operations in Los Angeles County, California, that include requirements relating to the flight paths and altitudes associated with such operations to reduce helicopter noise pollution in residential areas, increase safety, and minimize scheduled commercial aircraft delays.
In prescribing regulations under subsection (a), the Administrator shall exempt helicopter operations related to emergency, law enforcement, or military activities from the requirements described in that subsection.
In prescribing regulations under subsection (a), the Administrator shall make reasonable efforts to consult with local communities and local helicopter operators in order to develop regulations that meet the needs of local communities, helicopter operators, and the Federal Aviation Administration.