The long-simmering debate about how best to address the issue of helicopter noise above the Los Angeles basin has come to full boil. The parties that had been trying to collaborate on voluntary abatement measures have seen them become mired in a miasma of mistrust, skepticism, anger and a sense of betrayal on the part of just about everyone who flies a helicopter through the airspace, including–for the first time–law enforcement.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) says he wants the FAA to apply noise rules to all helicopters transiting the Los Angeles basin, including those flown by emergency services. “Not all law-enforcement flights are emergencies,” Schiff said during an interview with SoCal public radio station KCRW.
Legislation that could mandate noise-abatement helicopter routes in the Los Angeles basin was inserted last-minute into the 1,582-page, $1 trillion federal spending bill signed by President Obama late last week. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Adam Schiff, both California Democrats, sponsored a rider that calls on the FAA to develop mandatory helicopter noise-abatement regulations and routes within one year if voluntary measures fail to quell citizen complaints.
A group of California politicians wants the FAA to move faster to address the helicopter noise issue in the Los Angeles basin.
The U.S. Court of Appeals has unanimously upheld the FAA’s right to impose the mandatory overwater North Shore Route on helicopter traffic over New York’s Long Island. Writing for the Court, U.S. circuit judge Richard Roberts rejected a legal challenge (petition for review) to the route filed by the Helicopter Association International to overturn the mandate.
In its description of a new rule outlining the upcoming ban on jets that don’t meet Stage 2 noise standards, the FAA incorrectly stated that hushkits are available only for Gulfstream IIs and IIIs.
As part of a growing suite of noise- and pollution-control measures, France’s Nice Cote D’ Azur Airport will invest in the installation of a new underground power system that will reduce business jets’ dependency on auxiliary power units on the ramp. The system, the first of its kind in Europe, provides hatches under each aircraft engine start-up stand for access to a centralized power and heating/cooling system, greatly reducing the number of APU operation hours, as well as reducing exhaust emissions. The $2.7 million project is expected to begin this summer.
An Environmental Good Conduct Code is now in place at popular Cannes Mandelieu Airport and signed by multiple stakeholders, including the French DGAC, numerous civil aircraft operators, air traffic controllers, airport tenants and various local environmental groups.
The code is voluntary, addresses primarily noise-control issues and calls for the signers to “respect the quality of the environment at and around l’Aéroport Cannes Mandelieu.”
The FAA’s final rule on civil tiltrotor noise limits and conditions for noise compliance measurement becomes effective March 11. It amends regulations governing noise certification standards and establishes new noise limits and procedures to ensure that noise-reduction technology is incorporated in tiltrotors.
NBAA is welcoming International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) committee proposals to limit aircraft emissions and reduce noise levels in the near term. The Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) at ICAO wrapped up three years of work last Thursday with recommendations for creating both a metric and standards for carbon-dioxide emissions, as well as for reducing aircraft noise levels by 2020.
- Page 1