The FAA will meet with people living near the Van Nuys Airport next month to hear complaints about increasing overflights by noisy helicopters, it was reported today.
The Daily News reported on its website that the FAA's acting administrator, Michael Huerta, has committed to a public hearing on the issue during the first week of August, somewhere near the airport.
Rep. Howard Berman told the Daily News late Tuesday that the hearing will let the public explain exact details about what residents say has been a steadily-worsening noise situation. Specific information about which companies or agencies make the most noise would be solicited.
The FAA would then consult with the helicopter operators and produce a public report on noise abatement, the Congressman told the newspaper.
"Our voices need to be heard so that the FAA will put the well-being of Valley residents before the convenience of a few helicopter operators," Berman wrote in an e-mail to the Daily News.
Van Nuys Airport, owned by the City of Los Angeles, is home to helicopters owned by charter firms, hospitals, individuals and TV stations. Residents complain that many pilots are deviating from approach and departure paths, which are shortcuts that take them over residential neighborhoods.
One resident told the Daily News that he feels that Los Angeles city fire helicopter pilots are among the worst offenders. Another neighbor, who has lived near the airport for 60 years, said the problem had significantly worsened in the past years,