Thursday, February 9, 2017

Neighborhood Helicopter Noise -- District of Columbia


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Contact: Benjamin Fritsch – o: 202-225-8050c: 202-225-8143                                                                                            June 16, 2015

Norton Requests Meeting with FAA to Address Neighborhood Helicopter Noise
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a senior member of the House Aviation Subcommittee, today released a letter she wrote to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael P. Huerta to arrange a meeting to discuss persistent helicopter noise throughout the day and night affecting Northwest and Northeast District of Columbia neighborhoods.  Helicopter noise was brought to Norton’s attention by residents following a Norton community meeting in May on airplane noise in Ward 3.
In her letter, Norton wrote: “Residents describe persistent noise from helicopters hovering near their homes throughout the day and night to the point where their homes are shaking and vibrating….Sometimes, multiple helicopters hover overhead at the same time.  It appears that these low-flying helicopters have started to cause property damage, with cracks appearing in some homes.”
The full text of Norton’s letter is below.
June 15, 2015
Honorable Michael P. Huerta
Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20591
Dear Administrator Huerta:
I want to thank you again for providing Federal Aviation Administration staff to participate in my community meeting on airplane noise affecting District of Columbia residents.  I am reaching out to you regarding an issue that was brought to my attention following last month’s community meeting.  Several residents across the city are suffering from persistent helicopter noise at all hours of the day and night.  Because the airspace is controlled by the FAA, I am asking your office to help in providing some relief for my constituents.
Residents describe persistent noise from helicopters hovering near their homes throughout the day and night to the point where their homes are shaking and vibrating.  An Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for the Barnaby Woods and Hawthorne neighborhoods of D.C., located in Northwest D.C. near the D.C./Maryland border, describes helicopters flying low over the homes in her neighborhood.   Sometimes, multiple helicopters hover overhead at the same time.  It appears that these low-flying helicopters have started to cause property damage, with cracks appearing in some homes.  Another impacted neighborhood is Eckington, located in Northeast D.C., where apartment buildings are shaking from these low-flying helicopters. 
I imagine that with a number of national security targets in the D.C.-area, helicopters may be in use to provide protection of the airspace for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Vice President’s home at the Naval Observatory, and other locations.  However, the impacted neighborhoods are not located near any of these facilities.  Moreover, with commercial helicopter operations suspended at the South Capitol Street Heliport, I am almost certain that the offending helicopters are not from the private sector. 
I am asking that an FAA official with information and responsibility in the area call my office to arrange a meeting with me to discuss the issue.  My scheduler, Try Coburn, can be reached at (202) 225-8050
Sincerely,
Eleanor Holmes Norton
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