September 15, 2020
Thank you for allowing this forum for Kailua residents to voice their concerns in regards to the helicopter noise that impacts our island.
I am not against helicopter tours – we definitely have some of the most beautiful scenery in the world to share with others. However, such profit-making ventures should never be to the detriment of the people who live in the communities over which they fly, nor the environment, whether land, sea or air. Therefore, they need to be very well regulated by the State and the FAA. Remember that we also have the Kaneohe MCBH in our back yard which conducts its own aircraft activity on a daily basis at all hours of the day.
As longtime Kailua residents who have watched this problem become worse over the past 25 years, we would like to submit the following recommendations:
1. Helicopter tours should be limited to a certain number per week. A maximum of one per day would be ideal, but we would think ourselves lucky if that were the case.
2. Helicopter tours should only be conducted at certain hours of the day so as to lessen the disturbance to both humans and animals residing in the area, and should not be flown early morning or past late afternoon.
3. Helicopter tours should not be flown on weekends or on State and Federal holidays, so as to allow residents some peace during these times when they have an opportunity to rest. Quietness and the sounds of nature are extremely therapeutic to relieve stress and promote healing and rejuvenation, which is very important especially during these times when physical, mental, and emotional challenges are taking a toll on our communities.
4. The fairly recent helicopter crash on Oneawa Street in Kailua occurred just at the end of my street. We were heartbroken for those killed and their families, and at the same time, terrified that that machine could have very easily landed on our house, our neighbor’s house, a car or pedestrian. The safety of the people is paramount! The FAA MUST establish absolutely clear and enforced laws with regard to aircraft safety and pilot qualification. We have seen far too many from our community killed due to aircraft companies and operators not being held to the highest standards of safety and testing. This is not something that is difficult to do – it just takes common sense and caring. If it were your child who died in that crash, what would you have done to prevent it?
My family and I thank you for collaborating on this important issue which affects our well-being and the safety of our people. We ask you to please seriously consider our recommendations and do what is pono (right). We will be forever grateful if you do.
Mahalo nui loa,