The Los Angeles Area Helicopter Noise Coalition (LAAHNC) is filing petitions with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish mandatory regulations for helicopter flights in Los Angeles County.

According to LAAHNC, this action follows years of talks with helicopter operators that failed to result in any agreement on voluntary flight practices to reduce noise.

There are no specific minimum altitude requirements for helicopter flights and LAAHNC said helicopter noise caused by low flights in the County is a problem. Helicopters often fly as low as 300 feet above people and homes.

“Despite the fact that most residents are unaware it exists and most helicopters don’t show up on its flight tracking system, the initial launch of the FAA’s new Heli-Noise-LA complaint system still logged a complaint on average every seven minutes, with more than 34,000 complaints in the past six months,” said Wayne Williams, LAAHNC Board member.

In January, 2014, federal legislation was enacted that directed the FAA to continue to collaborate with the community and helicopter operators, but also take several steps, including to evaluate and adjust existing helicopter routes above Los Angeles, analyze whether helicopters could safely fly at higher altitudes in certain areas and develop/promote best practices for helicopter hovering and electronic news gathering.

The legislation also stated that unless “significant progress” was made by the end of 2014, the FAA “shall begin a regulatory process related to the impact of helicopter use on the quality of life and safety of the people of Los Angeles County.”

LAAHNC representatives said they have participated in 57 collaborative meetings and proposed more than 30 voluntary practices but no significant agreement has been reached.

LAAHNC’s proposed regulations would establish a general minimum altitude for helicopter flights; limitations on hovering by news and tour helicopters; require a system of pooling for helicopter news coverage; and establish offshore routes for helicopters that fly along the coastline. Copies of the petitions and related documents are available at

“The problem of helicopter noise in Los Angeles County has festered for too many years,” according to Bob Anderson, LAAHNC President. “At this point, although we are certainly willing to continue the talks on voluntary measures, we can no longer continue to rely on that approach alone. We hope the FAA will seriously consider our requests, evaluate them for safety and noise reduction, and establish regulations needed to adequately address this continuing problem.”

– Submitted by Richard Root, Los Angeles Area Helicopter Noise Coalition

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  1. To Richard Root, I quote you, “Helicopters often fly as low as 300 feet above people and homes.” Really? Where the evidence? What can be asserted with no evidence can be dismissed with no evidence.

  2. I hope your petition goes through because this can set the perfect precedent to stop all noise in the city.

    I think biggest elephant in the closet are the uncaring callous dog owners who allow their dogs to bark for hours and hours which ruins the peace and quiet of any neighborhood. And then when you ask the dog owner to stop their dog from barking, they lie and say it’s not happening and they get extremely offended. I have experienced this every time I’ve talked to a barking dog pet owner.

    I was walking down a sidewalk one day and a dog bit my tennis shoe and when I called this out to the dog owner who was walking next to me, she said, “No my dog did not bite you.” So dog owners will lie to your face and claim their dog issues are not a problem. However, will the city take action and stop every barking and biting dog? Never.

    Dog owners in the city are mean people, they claim to be nice, but the dogs are kept in small apartments with no yard to run in and some dog owners walk their dogs very infrequently. Caging a dog in a small apartment is mean. Let’s not forget the uncaring attitude of dog owners allowing the pets to the piss and excrement in public which makes city sidewalks disgustingly dirty and unsanitary, and ruins sidewalk landscaping. It’s the dog owners in the city who are causing major problems for the general population.

    Then there is the problem with traffic noise. Sirens, horns, engines and the piercing sound of motorcycles racing through the streets, are just some of the problems with traffic noise. But let’s not forget about the pollution from cars and trucks! We need to stop all traffic so we don’t pollute the air. We also need to stop all airlines, private planes and military aircraft. I hate the sound of planes and jets, this really bothers me. What about trains? They are extremely loud and shake houses and businesses when they rumble through.

    Then there is the problem of extremely loud sports events, parades, bars, night clubs and last but not least, don’t forget about the horrible noise from constructions jobs.

    Thank you for trying to put through this petition to get legislation passed. Now at the same time, please ban all people from owning dogs, ban all traffic, ban all trains, ban all aircraft (airlines, private planes, military aircraft, etc.), ban all loud public events, ban all loud bars and night clubs and ban all construction.

    I demand a completely quiet city. We deserve cities where, day or night, we can hear a pin drop.

  3. Guessing this went nowhere. Helicopters are still a nuissance. The residents of Los Angeles would benefit from strict regulations regarding flying. Specifically between certain hours and above a minimum elevation. It is unfair to residents to be unable to take action against this. It is very frustrating, and unhealthy, to put up with this noise every night when you are trying to sleep

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