September 22, 2020
Tour helicopters ruined my experience of my home. At my mom’s house in Kahala, prior to COVID we have had a tour helicopter fly over our house EVERY 5 – 10 MINUTES ON AVERAGE 7 DAYS A WEEK FROM 7AM – SUNSET. We’d have up to 70 a day at times, all flying directly over our house or so close that we had to pause phone calls, and not even be able to hear each other speak when sitting outdoors for lunch, etc until they passed. Oftentimes our windows will even vibrate. My mom and I took ongoing records for almost a year logging them.
It turned my childhood home, where my own mom was also raised, into a place where I was on constant edge and anxiety, unable to pray and practice my faith in a deep way due to the anxiety of “when is the next one coming?”, unable to relax, and even uncomfortable using our beautiful outdoor shower, because the helicopters fly so low over our house I worried passengers could see me! That is NOT OK. The fact that we pay so much money in property taxes to live here and have countless tourists flying over our private backyard, and making me feel unsafe and uncomfortable to shower, or do yoga in the garden of our PRIvATE HOME, is NOT OK. The impact on my health & well-being from being unable to practice my faith in my own home due to the invasive noise & anxiety it causes ~ noise that prior to several years ago NEVER EXISTED HERE FROM 1952 WHEN MY GRANDPARENTS BUILT THIS HOME, IS NOT OK.
I moved to the Mainland in part to get away from what felt like a living nightmare. One tour helicopter can be heard for miles, and the drone and buzz impacts hundreds of homes at a time in our densely populated island, if not thousands. And yet there is no regulation, no flight paths, no limits on permitting. Noise shields won’t cut it. The noise is horrific and they should NEVER have been allowed to fly over our communities in the first place..
Not even on nature trails on O’ahu could I find peace. Anywhere I tried to go to get a quiet respite, to connect with nature, pray, worship, enjoy the beach, or find more than 15 minutes of silence without hearing the buzz of a tour helicopter, I could not. ANYWHERE. Hike Diamond Head to clear your head? Nope. Hike the Pillbox Trail? Nope. Lay out along Kahala Beach, or Waimanalo? Nope. Go to the North Shore for some respite? Nope. These tour helicopters & their noise + privacy invasion have ruined O’ahu for our residents, and lawmakers have done NOTHING.
I even went to Kauai seeking peace and silence by hiking along the Na Pali trail, and was so disheartened to have my hike interrupted by a continuous stream of low-flying tour helicopters overhead the entire time. You’re ruined the sanctity of what makes Hawaii so special by taking away our silence.
I have talked with many people across O’ahu and some have reported having to wear earplugs during the day, others have even had to move to different homes because their young children were so impacted. The lack of action and regulation by lawmakers is absurd. Its borderline criminal negligence. To not take serious action to limit & regulate something so loud, impactful and disruptive flying over DENSLY POPULATED RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITIES, SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, HOSPITALS, PARKS, BEACHES AND TRAILS, FOR THE ENJOYMENT OF TOURISTS AND THE PROFIT OF BUSINESS, IS NOT OK.
Its time to take a stand for the PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE, who vote for you and who count on you to represent US.