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John Mokulehua

September 24, 2020

Would liked to have spoken this morning but unable to.
Waimanalo is a community nestled between the steep koolau mountains and the sandy shores of the Pacific Ocean. The Waimanalo community already deals with and have accommodated the tourist industry with the constant heavy traffic of tourists traveling by mopeds, tour buses and rental cars We have welcomed the tourists here as they try to enjoy our piece of paradise here. The tour helicopters are only a handful of small business that employ a small workforce that causes the biggest nuisance in term of noise pollution and on occasion a safety hazard to not only our community but every community on this island they are allowed to fly over. The most recent which I can recall is the helicopter crash in the usually busy streets of the residential community of Kailua. I am confused how this industry was allowed start up and operate like this without any community input they would be affecting. How can a small group of people be allowed to affect so many lives with their CONSTANT LOUD Aircraft NOISE without any regard for the communities they transverse over, to make a buck. I really appreciate that this hearing is being held but it’s after the fact. The people approving these tour helicopters to fly over our communities should have them fly over their community so they can experience all the wonderful noise and hazards these helicopters create. I can understand accept the noise and hazard if our community is next the airport. I can understand if they fly over Waikiki because that’s where the majority of the tourist stay. But Waimanalo, Kailua, Lanikai, Kaneohe, and the rest of the windward side is not next to the airport or is not Waikiki and we shouldn’t be subjected to this noise pollution or hazards for the cause of tourism or the sake of these small businesses. I don’t think these businesses make enough monies to compensate all of the communities and local people they affect.
Having said all of the above. I feel that there could be a solution to this problem that will satisfy the community and the tour helicopters.
The first solution I’ve come up with will only satisfy the most import people involved.
Banning all tour helicopters on the island of Oahu.
The second is to have these helicopters fly at a suitable altitude or over the ocean at a suitable altitude that is agreed upon by the communities involved and affected.
I’m not sure at what altitude the Tour helicopters are allowed to fly now, but currently it’s too low. I have video shot from my iPhone in my yard. You will for yourself the amount of noise that is captured just from a mobile phone. Like I said before Waimanalo, is between the steep koolaus and the ocean. Any helicopter entering from Makapuu can be heard by all of Waimanalo. That is a fact.
Another suggestion is to only allow the helicopters to fly into the communities of the koolaus. Allow them to fly only to Malachi point and turn back to home base. I’ve been to Waikiki and witness the figure 8 pattern they make over the waters in Waikiki and then head over towards the windward side. The shoreline to makapuu should suffice a decent ride for tourist. But of course I do not want to burden this problem to other communities that will be affected by this solution.
These are some of my solutions, I hope other residents have better ones than mine that will satisfy both parties involved but if there is no compromise, I feel the communities voice should be heard over the voices of a few.

Post Author: HANSTF