L.A. Skies May Quiet Down, as FAA Plans Helicopter Noise Complaint System

Ghetto birds — scourge of the city. They make your bedroom quake, pour light through your window, and sound like God's very own lawnmower is bearing down on you.

But help may be on the way. The Federal Aviation Administration has allocated $250,000 to establish a complaint system for helicopter noise in Los Angeles County. Coming soon (early next year) to an Internet near you, the system will allow irked Angelenos to file complaints online or by phone, then track the data and hopefully identify the cause of the problem. 

See also: Why Is That LAPD Helicopter Circling Overhead?

The data, said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor, "will help us better understand what kinds of operations are raising noise concerns – what type of helicopter, what type of operation, what routes, what altitudes, etcetera."

“The request we most often hear from residents impacted by helicopter noise is ‘Where can I complain?’" said Bob Anderson, president of the Los Angeles Area Helicopter Noise Coalition, in a statement.

"The answer, sadly, was nowhere. This system will now give all residents countywide a place to lodge helicopter noise complaints and will provide irrefutable data identifying helicopter noise hot spots, so our organization can work with pilots and the FAA to stop the noise."

For many residents, it's unclear whether any given helicopter is an LAPD or Sheriff's Department chopper or, say, Channel 5 tracking some runaway celebrity. For that reason, Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association President Richard Close, one of the most powerful neighborhood activists in the city, was on board with the FAA's plan.

"This will be a fantastic program because the helicopter pilots now say they are not creating the problem, that it is the media or police helicopters,” Close told the Daily News' Rick Orlov.

"Pilots have been unwilling to accept responsibility. What we hope this leads to is some regulations on flights. And, it is not just us in the Valley. This is a countywide problem."

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