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Bob – For the HICoP Board

January 21, 2021



Much of the discussion at the HANSTF January 19, 2021 meeting was regarding the rescinding of HATCPM and the 1500AGL requirement and a legal way to deviate from the 1500AGL because of the 500′ below cloud FAA Rule.

HATCPM has been in force since 2008 with the 1500AGL rule yet the tour copter noise complaints proliferated.

HICoP in cooperation with Blue Hawaiian in 2015 carried out a demonstration with a copter operating between 1000AGL to 2000AGL plus where the copter was actually entering the clouds, no required 500′ minimum separation, and the noise level at all AGL would precipitate noise complaints.  From this we learned that AGL was not a solution to the tour copter noise issue.

The Overflights Act of 1987 required the FAA/NPS to provide a minimum AGL tour aircraft could operate over National Parks without IOA.  It took 7 years for the agencies to research and publish that number, 5000AGL.

Since AGL less than 5000AGL does not address the tour copter noise issue the flight path/tour route becomes the vector to address tour copter noise.  If the pilot sees rooftops below inside the copter noise footprint a potential noise complaint is created.

No noise hotline is needed, just the creation of tour routes that keep the noise footprint away from occupied properties/our homes and businesses.  FAA ATC in controlled airspace must also provide approach and takeoff  flight paths that do not allow the tour copter noise footprint to enter occupied properties. 

HICoP is ready, willing and able to coordinate with the tour copter operators to establish such “fly neighborly routes”.  HICoP first met with the tour copter operators on Hawaii Island in 2015.  

Casey Riemer, HHA, remarked why the current processes are taking place, because of complaints to elected office holders who want the noise complaints to go away.  Wouldn’t it be better to voluntarily/cooperatively solve the issue rather than be subject to mandates that may not be the best solution for any of the parties involved?  HICoP volunteers to participate.


1.  Alex Tamoria, HDOTA,

a.  You mentioned the hiring of a consultant, what is the specific purpose of the consultant and what result is expected from the consultant over what period of time?

b.  You mentioned a future meeting schedule, what is that schedule?

c.  HDOTA has been aware of the tour copter noise issue for years, HDOTA has a aircraft noise complaint line, 1-888-697-7813. Furthermore, HICoP met with HDOTA Ross HIgashi August 9, 2016 and described in detail to him the negative noise impacts from tour copters, Ross Higashi co-sponsored and was in attendance at the April 16, 2018 Nani Mau standing room only public hearing where he heard the public describe in detail the impacts of tour copter noise and how it negatively impacts their lives.  When will HDOTA take meaningful action to provide relief for the people on the ground in Hawaii? 

  “(888) 697-7813 Information on Filing a Noise Complaint

Therefore, any aircraft noise complaints are handled by the State of HawaiiDepartment of Transportation, Airports Division. You must call the Hotline number to make a formal complaintHotline Number: (888) 697-7813 Apr 9, 2020,”

2.  Cade Clark, HAI, You mentioned many times resources for the public on the HAI website.  Could you provide links to these specific items you are referring to?

3. Vicki Ward, NPS, You mentioned that ATMPs for Hawaii Volcanoes and Haleakala National Parks were more “complicated”.  Could you explain why in view of the fact that ATMP hearings for both Parks were held in 2011 and those ATMPs were about to be implemented?

4.  Melissa Pavlicek, HANSTF,

a.  List of all the participants and their sponsors? 

b.  Details of Agenda items 5 and 6?

5.  Marcus Roulet, FAA, A published time line for the development of the HATCPM?

6.  Casey Riemer, HHA,  Mahalo for clarifying ADS-B/Flightaware.  HICoP suspected that certain tour copter operators were requesting Flightaware to hide their N numbers which you confirmed for us.  Non-HHA member Blue Hawaiian has always had their ADS-B identity N numbers available on Flightaware whereas HHA member Paradise N numbers were not and Safari never has seemed to have any ADS-B available.

a. You mentioned all HHA members have committed to have ADS-B installed and on and will not block it on Flightaware.  HICoP Mahalos you, HHA and the members for providing that transparency.  Could you let HICoP know when this will all be completed so we can pass the word and let the community know that the tour copter operators are cooperating on this transparency issue?

b.  Since it is apparent that the 1500AGL over occupied properties does not preclude complaints precipitated by the tour copter noise would the HHA members be willing to voluntarily  ( Voluntarily may be better than dictated by others. ) discuss tour routes/flight paths that would eliminate the noise footprint from entering occupied properties?

7.  Raquel Girvin, FAA Western-Pacific Regional Administrator, Since you have heard extensive complaints at the 5 HANSTF meetings you have attended including this one, and your office has conducted numerous public hearings in Hawaii for the express purpose of hearing from the public about tour copter noise impacts, 2 of those previous public hearings were held on March 30 2017 and April 16, 2018, when your office heard from standing room only members of the public how unbearable the tour copter noise impacted their lives.

The FAA responded to similar copter noise complaints on Long Island, NY, where the impact was a lot less than in Hawaii, less operations and summer season only and implemented FAA Rule 14 CFR Part 93 for the specific purpose to stop copter noise from entering communities, occupied properties, homes.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 93  The purpose of this rule is to protect and enhance public welfare by maximizing utilization of the existing route flown by helicopter traffic one mile off the north shore of Long Island and thereby reducing helicopter overflights and attendant noise disturbance over nearby communities.

When will you,  your office, provide the same level of protection for people on the ground in Hawaii as they do for the people on the ground on Long Island? 



For the HICoP Board

Post Author: HANSTF