Photo by Tim Evanson
Five lawmakers who represent districts in the Washington, D.C. area wrote a letter Monday to the head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), relaying constituent concerns over “recent increases in the frequency and severity” of helicopter noise.
Maryland Reps. Jamie Raskin, Anthony G. Brown and David Trone, Virginia Rep. Don Beyer and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton wrote GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, requesting a formal study of regional helicopter use.
“Many of our constituents live with the impacts of regular helicopter noise that interrupts sleep patterns, causes their homes to shake and negatively impacts their quality of life,” the group of lawmakers wrote. They hoped a study would help “identify strategies to minimize the negative impacts of helicopter activity without impeding the work of agencies operating helicopters in the region,” including law enforcement, military and medical functions.
Ethan Teicher, a spokesperson for Rep. Brown, said “the issue was raised by a number of concerned constituents, including at the Congressman’s bimonthly town halls.” Rep. Brown represents Prince George’s County and parts of Anne Arundel County.
Rep. Beyer’s office said they held a town hall dedicated to the issue of helicopter noise in the Fairlington/Shirlington, Va., area last year.
A spokesman for the GAO said the office has received the letter and will review it before any decisions are made.