FAA Gets An Earful
Posted by Charlie Golestani on Aug 7, 2012 - 3:03:59 PM
SHERMAN OAKS—An outpouring of public displeasure was
heard at Monday’s open forum at Millikan Middle
School. The messages were directed at FAA officials as citizens gathered from across Los
The FAA hearing before Bill Withycombe,
a regional administrator for the FAA, and Elizabeth Ray, vice president for
mission support services in Washington D.C., pertained to helicopter flight
patterns over residential neighborhoods, where residents have tired of the
noise from low flying birds, either on tourist flights or from media outlets
hoping to cover some breaking news story from above.
Though the majority of the crowd was
made up of annoyed homeowners, a few pilots in the crowd spoke to the issue.
U.S. Congressman Howard Berman, photographed for the U.S. Congress' website
Chuck Street, pilot/reporter for KTLA
and KIIS-FM, said he saw a lot of familiar flyers in the audience, pilots who
took the concerns of residents very seriously and wished to work with
them. Street stated that when a noise
complaint was relayed by the LAPD to the aircraft, the pilot would fly higher to
“In my 35 years of flying I’ve never
heard one media pilot refuse to do that, ever,” Street said.
However, citizens decried the necessity
for such a call and also noted that measures taken by pilots to voluntarily
maintain a height that was mutually beneficial for them and homeowners had not
“We need enforceable, legal
restrictions right now,” said Bob Anderson, a board member of the Sherman Oaks
The board suggested a minimum altitude
of 2,000 feet, a bar from evening flight hours and hovering be kept to a one
minute span in one area.
But Arnold Kleiner, president and general manager of
Glendale’s KABC noted that his station’s helicopter already remained above
police helicopters when covering a story, and thanks to technological advances
in image capturing, could cover news farther off from other choppers and
U.S. Rep. Howard Berman, whose district has notably
complained of helicopter noise, requested the hearing.