On March 13, more than 50 participants gathered at the Council of Governments to discuss helicopters and community impacts in the Metropolitan Washington region. The forum was co-sponsored COG’s Aviation Policy Committee, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Helicopter Association International.
The purpose of the forum was to initiate a dialogue with users – the pilots – of the Metropolitan Washington region airspace on ways to mitigate helicopter noise impacts on the communities. Participants included representatives from four (4) branches of the military, medical, police and fire, federal law enforcement and media. Throughout the region, helicopters are used on a daily basis to perform a variety of missions, including transporting patients, search and rescue and important government operations. It was noted that since September 11, commercial helicopter usage has stopped.
The forum was facilitated by Rob Krupicka, Chair, COG Aviation Policy Committee. FAA provided an overview of helicopter route structure, regulations, and policy. Major consensus highlights of the discussion included: 1) the need to develop a system for addressing helicopter noise complaints; 2) the need to collect helicopter activity data from existing data collection systems; and 3) to establish a regular forum for users/pilots to discuss and share information with each other and the community.
For more details on the forum, including the agenda and presentations, click here. You may also contact George Nichols at (202) 962-3355 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.