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Choon James

September 25, 2020

I concur with the many testimonies and concerns that were shared at the hearings. It’s unfortunate that there were technical difficulties and some residents were not allowed to share, due to time constraints.

Please note that the factors stated in those public testimonies are prevalent and growing concerns. The public is becoming more agitated about this as the number of tourists reaches over 1 million these recent years.

COVID19 shut-down has also provided a reprieve from some of these tours. It’s so wonderful to live in your own home without constant aggravations from noise or the worry that one of these helicopters may malfunction and crash. It has happened before on our island.

We live at Laniloa Point. I’ve been living there for over 40 years. We’re seeing a lot more tour helicopters now than ever. We also live close to Turtle Bay Resort where they provide helicopter tour services.

We come from a family of military as well as commercial aviation. Flying is exciting and wonderful. We recognize that it’s a livelihood for a few. But commercial profits from the operators cannot be forced upon the public without any accountability or consideration for other’s safety, peace, and quality of life. That becomes an exploitation at the expense of the non-consenting residents.

It’s time for the commercial aviation to remember that we the residents deserve peace, quiet and safety in
our own homes.

For many tourists, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime vacation for them in Hawaii. Their helicopter tour is probably their one and only experience too. We’re happy for them.

On the other side of the coin, it must be acknowledged that WE THE RESIDENTS are the victims of CUMULATIVE impacts from these once-in-a-lifetime tours. We’re exposed to it daily and year round. We live with these CUMULATIVE exposure and impacts from these tours day in and day out.

There must be strict regulations. It’s unfair to expect residents to spend time and efforts to regularly report and lobby for the basic peace, safety and quality of life. It’s also not easy to record as these tour helicopters buzz by very quickly. Residents should not be expected to live our lives this way – to regularly spend time and energy to “stake-out” these irregularities, of which I will share below.

Tour helicopters buzz our roofs. It has also become more clear that they are not observing the 1500 feet attitude after we witnessed the August 27 Fly-over 75th anniversary of the ending of World War 11. The pilots of these antique planes were obeying the aviation regulations. I can emphatically state that all the tour helicopters that we have seen or heard are way lower than that.

We can hear their aircraft noise. This is in spite of the ocean waves and winds in our area. When we close our windows and doors, we can shut off the sounds of the waves but we can still hear the helicopters’ noise inside our house.

We live on Laniloa Point, a peninsula that juts out into the ocean,  which is about 30-40 feet above the ocean. Sometimes, I can see tour helicopters from my kitchen window.

I see helicopters flying low along the coast line of Ko’olauloa. I’m sure it’s a beautiful vista from the helicopters.  But that is at the expense of the residents.

Most times, we hear the helicopters buzz over our roofs when they could have flew away from us, over the ocean waters. But than, that’s probably a more distance view of the coastline vista for the tourists.

Every time, there’s a helicopter crash, we hope that it will not happen over our roofs. That’s not a good thought to
have, especially when the tour operators are profiting at our expense. It’s unfair.  

Clear and regulations protecting residents must be in placed to balance this injustice and worrisome factors to our residents. We deserve to live in our homes in peace and safety.

Choon James
Laniloa Point, Laie, Oahu.

Post Author: HANSTF