September 21, 2020
HICOP COMMENTS TO THE HAWAII AIR NOISE AND SAFETY TASK FORCE ( HANSTF ) MEMBERS, SEPTEMBER 22/24, 2020
Aloha Hawaii Air Noise and Safety Task Force Members,
“The purpose of the meetings is for Task Force members to receive initial comments from community members which will be addressed through the Task Force. The Task Force was developed to address safety and noise issues related to rotor and fixed-wing aerial tours in the state of Hawaii. Community involvement, public outreach, and transparency will be prioritized in all recommendations from the task force to industry and regulators.”
You Task Force Members already know the issues well that you listed above, noise and safety.
Over the years you have all heard the endless complaints from those on the ground in Hawaii regarding the incessant tour copter noise nuisance pollution.
It is way past time for the HANSTF task force to take meaningful action.
You already know what you have to do to address these two issues.
Do not transit over occupied properties making sure your noise footprint does not enter occupied properties which by doing this will address both the tour copter noise and crash issues.
There can not be a solution to noise and safety if you continue business as usual, if you continue to transit over those of us in Hawaii on the ground.
This solution is nothing new, the Federal Aviation Administration established such a solution for an island with a lot less copter noise impacts than Hawaii in 2008.
When the HICoP Board met with many of you on October 4, 2016, and you could not suggest any solutions to the noise issues, the HICoP Board asked you to consider to voluntarily utilize the FAA already implemented tried and tested offshore route. To date you chose to continue business as usual. Where is your Aloha for the communities you do business in?
This FAA existing Rule 14 CFR Part 93 is better suited to Hawaii than where it is implemented on Long Island, since the airports of Hawaii, unlike the inland airports of Long Island, all border open water so no copter operations would have to transit over occupied properties.
In addition, Hawaii Airports Division ( HDOTA ), should add to their Tour Aircraft Permit prerequisites that tour aircraft are prohibited to allow their noise footprint enter occupied properties.
Problem solved, tour copter noise nuisance pollution complaints cease, crashes when they happen avoid communities with occupied properties, unlike the recent Pearl Harbor, and Kailua copter crashes, serenity free from tour copter noise and safety from tour copter crashes returns to the people on the ground in Hawaii, and the tour copter industry prospers free from threats of impending actions, actions that have eradicated and/or diminished tour copter operations in other locals, and all of us in Hawaii lived happily thereafter.
It should also be pointed out, contrary to your statement on January 9, 2020, “Identifying and establishing stakeholder members from the community will be a top priority as the task force takes shape.”, “the top priority” of “establishing stakeholder members from the community” does not appear to have been achieved.
HICoP has and does volunteer to be a community stakeholder.
Mahalo for letting HICoP address you, the members of the Hawaii Air Noise and Safety Task Force,
The HICoP Board
Link for others to provide comments: https://hanstf.org/index.php/public-meetings/
Hawaii is the most tour copter impacted State in the Nation.
Hawaii Island is the most tour copter impacted County in the Nation.
Hawaii Volcanoes is the most tour copter impacted National Park in the Nation and Haleakala is the fourth most tour copter impacted Park in the Nation.
Table 4. Reported Commercial Air Tours at High-Activity Units of the National Park System, 2013-2018
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) 15,410 14,427 14,645 15,489 16,520 8,333
National Parks of New York Harbor Management Unit (NPNH) 34,682 39,797 26,812 18,638 11,006 8,141
Lake Mead National Recreation Area (LAKE) 13,218 12,160 10,548 7,530 8,735 7,401
Haleakalā National Park (HALE) 4,631 4,932 4,543 4,589 4,839 4,757
Note that National Parks of New York Harbor Management Unit (NPNH) went from a 2014 high of 39,797 tours to a 2018 low of 8,141 because of actions taken by the administration of noisy New York City.
Federal Aviation Administration ( FAA ) and the National Park Service ( NPS )
It should be noted that the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Park Service are listed on the HANSTF web site as “Technical Advisors” but both these agencies failed for 20 years to implement Congressional Mandated Air Tour Management Plans at any National Parks in the Nation, and not until ordered by the Court as the result of a HICoP lawsuit did these agencies agree to establish by 2022 ATMPs at both Hawaii Volcanoes and Haleakala National Parks.
FAA Western – Pacific Regional Administrator Dennis Roberts participated in two hearings on Hawaii Island where packed public meetings told Roberts of the unbearable incessant tour copter noise nuisance pollution. The first public hearing was at Hilo Airport on March 30, 2017 and the second was at Nani Mau Gardens on April 16, 2018. HICoP was present and presented at both public meetings.
Link to FAA Hilo Airport public hearing: https://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2017/03/30/video-faa-officials-hear-helicopter-complaints-in-hilo/
Link to FAA/HDOTA Nani Mau public hearing: https://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2018/08/16/video-passions-flare-at-tour-helicopter-noise-meeting/
The FAA Regional Administrator knows well the tour copter noise nuisance pollution debacle problem in Hawaii yet has taken no meaningful action to date.
The FAA Honolulu FSDO ( Flight Standards District Office ) office met with HICoP on September 22, 2016 in Hilo where the tour copter noise nuisance pollution was discussed in detail and HICoP has been in contact with that office to date. FSDO Manager Tiffany Chitwood was also present at the Nani Mau meeting.
The FAA Honolulu FSDO office including Manager Tiffany Chitwood know well the tour copter noise nuisance pollution debacle problem in Hawaii yet have taken no meaningful action to date.
HDOTA ( Hawaii Department of Transportation Airports Division ) Deputy Director Ross Higashi
HICoP met with Ross Higashi on August 9, 2016 in Hilo and in detailed described to Ross the impacts of the tour copter noise nuisance pollution debacle on the people on the ground on Hawaii Island and HICoP has followed up with continuing contacts with Ross and HDOTA..
Ross was the co-sponsor with FAA Dennis Roberts at the April 16, 2018 Nani Mau public hearing and Ross was present to hear the public’s testimony.
The tour copter noise complaint toll free number 1-888-697-7813 is answered in the HDOTA office.
HDOTA and Deputy Director Ross Higashi know well the tour copter noise nuisance pollution debacle problem in Hawaii yet have taken no meaningful action to date.
The October 4, 2016 HICoP meeting mentioned above was attended by the Hawaii Island tour copter operators:
Blue Hawaiian – Eric Lincoln, Paradise – Calvin Dorn, Safari – Preston Meyer, Sunshine – Paul Morris. HICoP has followed up with these tour copter operators since.
The Hawaii Island tour copter operators Blue Hawaiian, Paradise, Safari and Sunshine know well the tour copter noise nuisance pollution debacle problem in Hawaii yet have taken no meaningful action to date.
The Hawaii Helicopter Association ( HHA ) sponsored the PlaneNoise to document the noise complaints. HICoP knows that numerous parties filed complaints through PlaneNoise.
The Hawaii Helicopter Association knows well the tour copter noise nuisance pollution debacle problem in Hawaii yet have taken no meaningful action to date.
HAI ( Helicopter Association International ) litigated the FAA rule 14 CFR Part 93 that addresses copter noise nuisance pollution on Long Island, NY.
Link to Court decision upholding FAA Rule 14 CFR Part 93 and denying HAI request for review: https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-dc-circuit/1638545.html
Senator Lorraine Inouye, listed by HANSTF under Hawaii State Legislative Appointees, signed a 4 page letter from the Hawaii State Legislature dated September 28, 2016 and addressed to the Hawaii Congressional Delegation, Senators Schatz and Hirono and Representative Gabbard describing in detail the tour copter noise nuisance pollution impacts on Hawaii Island and requesting the Congressional Delegation address the same.
HICoP has met with and followed up with the above mentioned office holders and they know well the tour copter noise nuisance pollution debacle problem in Hawaii yet have taken no meaningful action to date.
Link to public town hall meetings: https://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2017/04/23/32780/
Link to public town hall meetings: https://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2017/04/19/video-sen-brian-schatz-holds-town-hall-at-uh-hilo/ ( starts at 49 minutes )
Link to public town hall meetings: https://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2017/04/19/full-video-rep-tulsi-gabbard-town-hall-talk-in-hilo/ ( starts at 1 hour 13 minutes )
It should be recognized that only Representative Ed Case has come forward and with truly meaningful actions represented all the people of Hawaii regarding the incessant tour copter noise nuisance pollution Hawaii debacle.
Link to Representative Ed Case’s meaningful actions: https://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2019/08/29/rep-cases-safe-and-quiet-skies-act-to-regulate-helicopter-noise/
HICoP applauds Representative Case’s ongoing meaningful actions.