December 3, 2020
Tour Helicopter Companies that operate on Hawaii Island refuse to fly over the Ocean ever thou some companies do have flotation devices, claiming safety concerns, however during inclement over-land weather their backup plan it to operate over the Ocean.
1. NO established FAA routes for Tour Helicopters.
Helicopter Tour Co. are in the sightseeing business and charge customers for this service. As a for-profit business their routes are defined by the shortest path between tour destinations to provide the lowest cost fares, with absolutely no consideration regarding residential impact. Also, the quicker the tour route is completed the more tours are possible per day.
2. The only Tour Helicopter Noise Study ever done, a 1994 study, sponsored by the Hawaii Department of Transportation was published by UH Professor Panos Prevedouros.
This report shows that Helicopter NOISE has the LOUDEST impact of all types of noise in our residential communities. Fast moving low flying Helicopters on cloudy days over hard terrane produce the greatest degree of noise due to the reflection of the sound between the clouds and hard surfaces.
Helicopter tours customers pay to have a good views. Hawaii is the only state which allows a minimum altitude of 500 feet above ground over residential communities during cloudy weather. Therefore, most of the time they operate at MINIMUM altitudes. The pilots want to complete the route quickly, therefore operates at near MAXIMUM speeds. Hawaii Island is volcanic and our ground is HARD. Also, located at a higher elevations we have more CLOUDY then sunny day per year.
Tour Helicopters produce the greatest noise of any other equipment operated in our communities due to the nature of their business.
3. Noise Frequency
“Noise annoys, awakens, angers and frustrates people” as published in the State of Hawaii
(DOH) Noise Reference Manual.
Tour helicopters are not equipped with modern transponders or do not turn them on so programs such as Flightaware cannot track their movement.