Public Service, Regulatory

Helicopter Community Wants to Keep Noise-Complaint System in LA

By Amy Kluber | August 3, 2018
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Automated Complaint System for helicopter noise in LA

Automated Complaint System for helicopter noise in Los Angeles. Image courtesy of ACS

Two helicopter pilot groups in Los Angeles are urging officials to keep an FAA-sponsored noise-complaint hotline active there.

The Automated Complaint System (ACS), launched in 2015, was supposed to last only a year, according to a joint statement from the Los Angeles Area Helicopters Operators Association (LAAHOA) and the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association (PHPA). It's existence was extended twice at the request of stakeholders including the  two organizations and members of the California congressional delegation.

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“It may sound counterintuitive, but many of us in the local helicopter industry firmly support keeping this system in place,” said Chuck Street, executive director for LAAHOA. “We want the FAA to continue the ACS program because it objectively quantifies the extent of public concern about helicopter noise in the Los Angeles area.”

The system handles about 5,500 calls a month and costs $30,000 per year to operate. Data from the system was taken into account at regular meetings with the groups, the FAA and homeowners to assess noise reduction efforts across communities. That data can be publicly viewed on the system's website.

“PHPA and LAAHOA attend these meetings to collaborate and to facilitate a system that allows all parties involved a common starting point with which to begin discussion," said Morrie Zager, president of PHPA.

Street said the system also "reminds helicopter pilots that there is a form of accountability regarding how they operator their aircraft in the region."

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