West Hollywood Mayor Jeffrey Prang proposed a City Council resolution last week endorsing federal legislation aimed at lessening helicopter noise in urban areas.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), West Hollywood’s representative, is a sponsor of H.R. 456. The bill is supported by California senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and directs the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish more stringent regulations for helicopters that fly over densely populated neighborhoods in Los Angeles County.
“West Hollywood attracts substantial media and paparazzi chasing entertainment industry personalities," Prang said in a statement. "And while many of our residents enjoy the positive portrayal of our city in the news, the noise generated by the operation of these helicopters is unacceptable.”
Prior to the bill's Feb. 4 introduction, the FAA held a series of community forums after members of Congress received complaints from cities including West Hollywood. A report on the government's public outreach effort is expected in May.
The FAA will have a year to adopt new regulations if the bill passes.
“Los Angeles area residents living in Glendale, Pasadena, the Valley, the Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood and other areas are especially affected by intrusive, disruptive and often non-emergency related helicopter traffic above their neighborhoods,” Schiff said in a statement. “The terrain of canyons around the Rose Bowl concentrates low-flying helicopter noise to high levels, and Hollywood Hills and West Hollywood residents frequently suffer from noise generated by celebrity news media that follow stars to the beach, the grocery store or for court appearances.”
Feinstein and Boxer explained the legislation's objectives.
"In addition to reducing noise, this bill would increase safety and minimize commercial aircraft delays while exempting first responders and military aircraft from its limitations," Feinstein said in a statement.
“This legislation will ensure that the FAA sets responsible guidelines that allow helicopters to continue to operate above Los Angeles while protecting residents from excessive noise associated with low-altitude flights,” Boxer said in a statement.
The bill originally was introduced last year by former House member Howard Berman. Schiff reintroduced it when Congress began a new session.
Other members from the Los Angeles area in favor of the bill are Rep. Henry Waxman and Rep. Brad Sherman.