Helicopter Noise Complaints Deserve Federal Funding, CA Politicians Say

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A coalition of California lawmakers called today on the federal government to continue to pay for a system that allows Los Angeles County residents to complain about helicopter noise.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and several other members of California's congressional delegation sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration asking it to reverse a decision to terminate funding for the Los Angeles Automated Complaint System. 

They also asked for improvements that would more accurately track helicopters across Los Angeles County.``The residents of Los Angeles deserve the continued support of the FAA in maintaining the Los Angeles Automated Noise Complaint System. Excessive helicopter noise remains a problem in the Los Angeles County, and we ask the FAA to continue working toward solutions, including by supporting and improving the noise complaint system,'' the letter reads in part. It was also signed by Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, Brad Sherman, D-Porter Ranch, Tony Cardenas, D-Los Angeles, Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, and Ted Lieu, D-Torrance. 

The system costs $30,000 annually, according to the California delegation, which pointed out that Congress recently approved an additional $1.6 billion in FAA spending, nearly a 10 percent increase to the federal agency's budget.``The decision to terminate the noise complaint system appears to be less about its very modest expense and more about not wanting to hear complaints from the public of excessive noise,'' the letter states. 

In addition, the group wants to see the system incorporate data from Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast systems, required for all helicopters by 2020, and be available in Spanish and other languages. The system was set up in 2015 in response to legislation sponsored by Feinstein and Schiff and allows federal regulators to track complaints about helicopter noise. It is intended to sort out which operators are responsible for excessive noise. Information on enforcement and effectiveness was not immediately available. 

Complaints can be lodged online at www.heli-noise-la.com or by calling (424) 348-4354. Statistics on the website show that hundreds of complaints are filed weekly. Support for the system ended June 30, according to a note on the site.

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