The West Hollywood City Council adopted a resolution Monday in support of efforts by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) to establish federal regulations governing the “noise and nuisance” created by non-emergency helicopters in Los Angeles County residential areas.
The City Council voted unanimously to adopt the resolution, titled the “Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act,” at its meeting Monday night, less than a week after Mayor Jeffrey Prang proposed the helicopter noise bill.
The bill, supported by California Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Barbara Boxer, directs the Federal Aviation Administration to establish more stringent regulations for helicopters that fly over densely populated neighborhoods in Los Angeles County.
Prang told the meeting he was very pleased that the “challenge we have with helicopters strafing our neighborhoods and causing havoc” was one of the first conversations he had with Congressman Schiff when he recently began representing West Hollywood.
“People always come to this city and they’re always asking the city council to take action to stop helicopters,” Prang said. “And the reality is there’s nothing that the city council can do—we can pass resolutions, we can pass laws, we can shout at them from the streets [but] we have no jurisdiction, no authority to do anything about helicopters. The havoc created by what the mayor referred to as “news copters and paparazzi copters” is regulated by the FAA, which, for many years, has been “reluctant to respond to the concerns of urban areas like West Hollywood.”
Lately, however, there appears to be a sense among many U.S. Congress members and by California Senators Feinstein and Boxer to “start taking action and to push the FAA to provide some sort of relief from helicopter intrusion into dense urban areas,” Prang said.
The city council’s resolution was adopted unanimously, 5-0, as a “consent calendar” item at the outset of Monday night’s meeting, according to City Clerk Corey Schaffer. Those who voted for the resolution included Mayor Prang, Mayor Pro Tempore Abbe Land, and Council members John D’Amico, John J. Duran and John Heilman.
In recent years, the City Council’s offices and staff have discussed the issue of non-emergency helicopter noise with various members of the U.S. Congress, who have directed the FAA to investigate, according to an agenda item posted on the council’s official website. (See attached PDF file.)
The FAA has created a working group and hosted a series of community meetings. The federal organization is expected to issue a report on the issue in May, according to the Weho City Council website.