(BIVN) – Hawai‘i Island residents fed up with constant tour helicopter noise over their homes spoke out at a meeting held in Hilo on Tuesday, as government officials and Hawaii Helicopter Association representatives listened to the heated testimony.
The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation’s Airports Division held a public information meeting at the Nani Mau Gardens on August 14 concerning commercial helicopter flights over the residential areas of East Hawai‘i. State officials were joined by Federal Aviation Administration Western Region representatives. Helicopter tour company employees were also present.
Many resident, their nerves already frayed by the eruption on the lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea, say the helicopter noise is compounding their stress. Some said the din is pushing them over the edge.
In response to the complaints, government officials say they plan to convene a committee to mull over the issue and report back with recommendations. Testifiers said they wanted to see representatives of HICoP – or “Hawaii Island Coalition Malama Pono”, an organization fighting the noise-pollution in East Hawai‘i – have a seat at the table.
The above video features testimonies from the public meeting, as well as separate interviews with State Senator Russell Ruderman, HICoP’s Bob Ernst, and Paradise Helicopters owner / pilot Calvin Dorn.