Melba Cavasso

September 15, 2020

Aloha All,

I personally enjoy riding in a helicopter. I do however do not enjoy them overhead when I am at home or surfing. I think that they should definitely limit flight and times. My question is how are they contributing to the communities that they are flying over and disturbing?

Melba K Cavasso

Anya Anthony

September 15, 2020


Thank you for allowing this forum for Kailua residents to voice their concerns in regards to the helicopter noise that impacts our island.

I am not against helicopter tours – we definitely have some of the most beautiful scenery in the world to share with others. However, such profit-making ventures should never be to the detriment of the people who live in the communities over which they fly, nor the environment, whether land, sea or air. Therefore, they need to be very well regulated by the State and the FAA. Remember that we also have the Kaneohe MCBH in our back yard which conducts its own aircraft activity on a daily basis at all hours of the day.

As longtime Kailua residents who have watched this problem become worse over the past 25 years, we would like to submit the following recommendations:

1. Helicopter tours should be limited to a certain number per week. A maximum of one per day would be ideal, but we would think ourselves lucky if that were the case.

2. Helicopter tours should only be conducted at certain hours of the day so as to lessen the disturbance to both humans and animals residing in the area, and should not be flown early morning or past late afternoon.

3. Helicopter tours should not be flown on weekends or on State and Federal holidays, so as to allow residents some peace during these times when they have an opportunity to rest. Quietness and the sounds of nature are extremely therapeutic to relieve stress and promote healing and rejuvenation, which is very important especially during these times when physical, mental, and emotional challenges are taking a toll on our communities.

4. The fairly recent helicopter crash on Oneawa Street in Kailua occurred just at the end of my street. We were heartbroken for those killed and their families, and at the same time, terrified that that machine could have very easily landed on our house, our neighbor’s house, a car or pedestrian. The safety of the people is paramount! The FAA MUST establish absolutely clear and enforced laws with regard to aircraft safety and pilot qualification. We have seen far too many from our community killed due to aircraft companies and operators not being held to the highest standards of safety and testing. This is not something that is difficult to do – it just takes common sense and caring. If it were your child who died in that crash, what would you have done to prevent it?

My family and I thank you for collaborating on this important issue which affects our well-being and the safety of our people. We ask you to please seriously consider our recommendations and do what is pono (right). We will be forever grateful if you do.

Mahalo nui loa,

Anya Anthony

Pam Webb

September 15, 2020

In the 1950’s a military jet from Kaneohe Marine Corp flew over Kailua residential homes and crashed into a home. The pilot was killed. After that accident military aircraft stopped flying over residential neighborhoods and instead flew over ocean. I feel that helicopters should never be allowed to fly over residential neighborhoods. Recent accident with helicopter crash on Oneawa street was a red flag that should hopefully put in place laws not to allow helicopters to fly over residential communities.
There is also the noise from helicopters that is very disturbing.
The helicopters should be restricted and number of flights greatly reduced. If we have learned anything since Covid it should be that we need tourism to survive but we also need to recognize that we had too many tourists before covid. These tourists were seriously impacting the Hawaiian citizens. Less is more! Less tourists, less tour helicopters with more restrictions on both to help improve the Hawaiian lifestyle and improve public health and safety.

Mary Tubbs

September 16, 2020

Thank you for the opportunity to report that as one who lives in the upper farm area of Waimanalo, above Waikupanaha, near Kakaina St., that the helicopter noise in March, 2019 was so unbearable that it drove me to count how many copters I heard. There were 44 helicopters flying overhead!
The noise from the copters put undue noise stress on myself and my German Shepard who had extremely sensitive hearing. Every 15 minutes or so she would jump up look to the sky and bark at the helicopters who were sometimes flying less than 300 ft. right over the house or 50 yards makai side of the house. This noise pollution contributed to the dog’s eventual demise and death last year. With each copter I would need to get up, and try to calm her, very disruptive. The noises slowly decreased over months with the ability to report the daily tour helicopter noise incidents. But this took about 10 minutes out of my day each time, and I reported them about 50 times over the months. Truely a hassle. The effect took months before they seemed to fly a bit further toward the ocean, but still one would come blaring over the house on occasion. Why can’t the fly just off-shore? Please limit the flying of these commercial helios over our farm area. Waimanalo has enough helicopter noise from the military at night, when they do maneuvers up until 9:30 pm with the loud Offspree helicopters.
Our community is ta king has too much of the negative burden from air tourism, and once the pandemic is over it will be crazy noisy again unless limits are in place. Please allow them to fly off shore.

Carleen Ornellas

September 16, 2020

Aloha. Mahalo for creating this Task Force and the opportunity to comment. Safety in any and every form is priority, especially in our neighborhood, communities and the entire State. The crash in Kailua is still very clear in our minds and frightening. That tragic accident could have been worse if they landed on homes. It should never have happened anywhere. I don’t know if you can stop the tours, but please control where the tours are allowed to travel. Not over communities and neighborhoods. I live in the back roads of Waimanalo and the number of helicopters over head is huge. I often thought if that is green harvest or Bellow’s military training? No, its tour operations. My family and the entire community have enjoyed the beautiful scenic mountains for over 40 years from land. I understand the cost of a tour is in the hundreds of dollars. Companies are making loads of money at the expense of lives. Please restrict or stop tour helicopters. It has been proven that there are not safe and safety must be considered. Mahalo for your consideration.

Gary Harrold

September 16, 2020

I live in Hilo and come to Oahu frequently. Traffic noise & helicopter noise creates stress. Stress depletes the immune system. At 75 I want my immune system strong and resilient. Helicopter noise rattles my brain, no matter where it is – Hilo or Oahu. Endless scientific studies reveal noise adversely affects the nervous system. Would I support tour OR military helicopters disturbing my serenity? NO.

Emily Pruett

September 16, 2020

The EPA defines Noise Pollution from the Clean Air Act as a sound that becomes unwanted when it either interferes with normal activities such as sleeping, conversation, or disrupts or diminishes one’s quality of life. The fact that you can’t see, taste or smell it may help explain why it has not received as much attention as other types of pollution, such as air pollution, or water pollution. The air around us is constantly filled with sounds, yet most of us would probably not say we are surrounded by noise. Though for some, the persistent and escalating sources of sound can often be considered an annoyance. This “annoyance” can have major consequences, primarily to one’s overall health.

As a resident of Kailua, I am opposed to any commercial/tour based helicopter (or air based) tours over Kailua. Having lived in Imperial Beach, California before becoming a Kailua resident I know and understand first hand how much helicopter noise pollution can negatively impact residential neighborhoods. With helicopter air traffic running all day, night and every weekend it is a constant strain. This commercial and in my opinion optional activity is completely unnecessary (I do not oppose the use of helicopters for Military / Department of Defense / National Security trainings and exercises). Many in Kailua/ Oahu in general enjoy an indoor/outdoor home the noise pollution created by these helicopters would be inescapable with most of the Kailua’s louvered & older single pane windows, roofs, and single walled constructed homes.

There are major security issues to consider with our proximity to Marine Corp Base Hawaii, and other active duty military installations.

Given the population density of Kailua, we were very lucky that the Oneawa crash did not result in more major loss of life and property (in the aircraft and of those on the ground). Hawaii was not that lucky when the commercial tour crash occurred at Pearl Harbor National Memorial a few years ago.

I DO NOT support commercial air tours over Kailua. Our town is already over promoted and inundated with visitors who are kind enough to spend their money here with local businesses. Let’s keep their feet on the ground, in our local shops, and out of the sky.

Nicholas Rodriguez

September 16, 2020

Tour operators deserve to be able to fly in the airspace above Kailua. Any restrictions to tours hurt tourism which in turn hurt local people because our jobs depend on it.

Please just focus on helicopter tour maintenance practices instead. Tour operators can fly safely if they maintain their equipment per the FAA requirements.

Lois Crozer

September 16, 2020

I live under the pillbox in Lanikai, and helicopter tours fly over my house. Besides the noise and privacy issues, I am EXTREMELY concerned that one of these days because the pillbox is a popular place to launch drones from, a drone will cause damage to rotors and a helicopter will crash.
If tours are legal, then fly over the sea, not over houses.

Whiting Hyland

September 16, 2020

I am retired and live in Maunawili. There were a lot of helicopters flying over my house daily before the quarantine. I went to the neighborhood board meeting where this was to be a topic of discussion. I was interviewed by the news media present (Chelsea Davis) to cover the meeting. I told her I thought there must be 40 flights over my house in a single day. My friends saw me on the news and said “No way there are 40 flights”.
So one day I started counting, thinking I was imagining how many there actually were, I got to 32 and I had left to do errands for about an hour and a half. Another Maunawili neighbor told me she counted more than 40 flights a day and had counted for more than one day. We (Kailua residents) are not missing the tour invasion since the pandemic stopped them, and quite frankly wish they would stop the invasion!
Let’s do some simple math on this. 40 flights divided by 8 hours equals 5 flight an hour or one every 12 minutes. It’s actually more frequent as there are more than the estimated 40 flights, so let’s call it one every 10 minutes.
I moved to Kailua 30+ years ago to escape the hustle and bustle of Honolulu and enjoy a more laid back time. Now the tour flights invasion has come over the mountain to change our little town.
At the neighborhood board meeting we asked if the tour companies would change their route as we had on crash right in the middle of Oneawa St. Oneawa is one of the main streets in Kailua. The representative from Magnum Helicopters said” We fly by FAA regulation and do not have to abide by what the public wants, bring it up to the FAA”.
So I am asking the FAA to limit tour flights to over the ocean and a minimum half mile out to sea to return the peace and quiet every Kailua resident wants. Not to mention the safety factor of them crashing on a Main Street.
The FAA is paid by the taxpayers and we should have a say in how the airspace above our homes is being used, after all this little town is not in a direct flight path of Honolulus’ airport.
Whiting Hyland