September 22, 2020
Sierra Club Hawai Island Group has been providing testimony and suggestions on helicopter noise and safety for over thirty years. I am the chair of the Group currently, and yet, despite your stated goal on January 9, 2020, that “Identifying and establishing stakeholder members from the community will be a top priority as the task force takes shape.”, our 400 member organization of hikers, snorkelers, recreational citizens and conservationists has not been invited to participate. We are formally requesting that we be added to your list of stakeholders.
Now, speaking on my own behalf, I would like to attest to the relief that COVID-19 has provided to me, my farm animals and my family from the constant intrusion of helicopter noise, which used to start before 7 am. It is not just the noise; it is the vibration, the sense of being viewed from above and loss of privacy, as well as the real possibility that under low cloud conditions the vehicles are flying too close to the ground and are prone to accidents. I am grateful for the respite, and ask that you address our concerns with enforceable measures to ensure that the flights are offshore with the appropriate safety requirements for passengers and crew. Thank you!