September 22, 2020
Testimony of Tad T. Tsuruma
The Hawaii Air Noise and Safety Task Force
Request the Federal Aviation Administration of Honolulu and the Hawaii Air Noise and Safety Task Force, reroute the helicopter and small commercial aircraft air routes over the Pearl City Area and Pearl Harbor Area to protect public safety and excessive noise exposure to my community.
September 22, 2020
Hello, Hawaii Air Noise and Safety Task Force members. My name is Tad Tsuruma and I am currently a Pearl City Neighborhood No. 21 Board member. I am submitting this testimony based on our Board Resolution that was passed on September 24, 2019.
Why, in the aftermath of the deadly helicopter crash of Kobe Bryant on January 26, 2020, at Calabasas, CA. has the commercial and tour helicopter industry not implemented flight data recorders and flight voice recorders that should be installed on these helicopters? The information these devices accrue would give investigators invaluable data in recreating and solving helicopter crashes and making future recommendations. Why has the Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS) also not been implemented on commercial and tour helicopters? It is a safety benefit that pilots can use when they become disoriented.
I work at the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites at Pearl Harbor, which include the Arizona Memorial. I have witnessed first-hand tour helicopters fly low where I cannot engage in normal conversation with tourists about the Arizona Memorial because of the deafening helicopter rotors. The tourists and I have stopped talking and we both look up and shake our heads. That is not right that I have to speak at a louder level because of the helicopter noise. I have witnessed tour helicopters hover for a period of time over Ford Island. Are they able to do that? Isn’t Ford Island considered a sensitive location for the Navy. That is why the public just can’t go over the bridge. They need identification cards. We already have had a fatal helicopter crash near the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites on February 16, 2016. One life was lost in the crash. What happens if a helicopter crashes into the USS Missouri or the Arizona Memorial and land based tourist lives were lost. That would be unforgiveable.
I don’t know of any Pearl City Neighborhood Board members who are part of the Hawaii Air Noise and Safety Task Force. If there aren’t, there should be. Just to be fair.
In closing, the safety of my community is job one when it comes to helicopter air rotes and noise. Please consider any questions that I have mentioned in my testimony.
Tad T. Tsuruma
Pearl City Neighborhood Board No. 21