September 18, 2020
Although I am no longer flying, I have flown everything from Piper Cubs to 747s over the last 55 years, and have owned two airplanes; a Cessna 172 that I kept at the airport and a Republic Seabee that I kept at home on Kaneohe Bay. I have had friends who own helicopters land in my yard. I think a lot of this is a somewhat hysterical response to something that is not really a problem. Essentially all of the helicopters and small aircraft tour operations fly over our house, or nearly over it, and I do not see them as much of a problem from the standpoint of noise or safety. The real noise problems are caused by the military aircraft and helicopters that operate to and from MCBH and from other bases that pass over our area.
Of course there is some risk with any mechanical device, and something falling out of the sky onto your street is certainly dramatic, but the dangers from car crashes and walking along the street are much greater than are the dangers from any kind of aircraft.
I suppose that one could make a case about the noise impact due to the large number of tour aircraft, but frankly I find the loud cars and motorcycles racing on H-3 behind our house much more objectionable (and dangerous). I do agree that helicopters operating just off Waikiki beach are a pain, but that should be addressable by direct contact with the operators, and these meetings don’t appear to address that issue at all.
General aviation has enough problems operating in Hawaii without being unduly restricted by people who are afraid the sky is falling.
I hope something can be worked out that will satisfy the community while still allowing overflights, but I think if something could be done about the military helicopter and aircraft routes the problem would largely go away; I suspect that the frustration over their noise carries over to the general aviation activities.