September 21, 2020
TESTIMONY OF LARRY S VERAY
Hawaii Air Noise and Safety Task Force
REQUESTING THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OF HONOLULU TO MODIFY AIR ROUTES AND EFFECTIVELY REGULATE AIR TOUR HELICOPTERS AND SMALL COMMERICAL AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS OVER PEARL CITY AREA MITIGATING PUBLIC SAFETY RISKS AND EXCESSIVE NOISE FOR OUR COMMUNITY
SEPTEMBER 20, 2020
Aloha, Hawaii Air Noise and Safety Task Force members. I am Larry Veray, Chairman for the Pearl City Neighborhood Board No.21. I am submitting this testimony on behalf of our Neighborhood board members and 46,000 residents in Pearl City based on our Board Resolution that was passed on September 24, 2019.
Tour helicopters and other small aircraft have dramatically increased flights over Pearl City area in the past few years and these aircraft flight paths pose a severe safety risk to residential homes, schools and businesses in our area. Our board received a number of complaints from our residents reporting loud helicopter and small commercial aircraft noise. Prior to March 2020, it was apparent that helicopter flight paths extended into the commercial aircraft flight paths over Pearl City with some residents witnessing near miss collisions with crossing flight paths, I was one of them.
We are greatly concerned of potential aircraft accidents and collisions that could produce falling debris, burning aircraft parts and fuel that could fall into our neighborhood yards, streets and homes, school yards, parks and most importantly these accidents could cost loss of life and property. Pearl City is a very dense residential area that does not have a lot of open space for emergency landings. In addition, helicopter exhaust/blade noise and ever-changing flight paths from low altitude flying tour helicopters has been the major community concern reaching unacceptable noise levels, over and over again with back to back flights. These paths were over the Arizona Memorial and taking the large circular flight path over Aiea, Pearl City, Waipahu and the Pearl Harbor area.
In closing, we most strongly urge the FAA to develop stronger regulations and enforcement since commercial helicopters and fixed wing aircraft are ineffective in regulating their own operations to improve public safety and mitigate noise. All aircraft should be equipped with tracking devices to allow for the FAA to reconstruct flight data when working complaints from the community and allow for quick recovery of downed aircraft. It also makes no sense for helicopters operating over water not to have floatation devices for emergency landings over water. Bottom line: NO FLIGHT PATHS OVER RESIDENTIAL AREAS. Mahalo!
Larry S. Veray