(BIVN) – A group opposed to constant tour helicopter noise over their homes continues to make noise of their own.
Members of HI-CoP, which stands for Hawai Island Coalition Malama Pono, waved signs at the entrance of the Hilo International Airport on Tuesday. The group has been taking their concerns to every elected official they can think of, hoping to get support for a proposed alternative route over the ocean to the island’s main fly-over attraction: the East Rift of the active Kilauea volcano.
Today Mayor Harry Kim held a meeting with various helicopter tour operators to see if a resolution with the companies can be reached.
“In response to requests for assistance from residents across Hawai’i Island,” a letter from Kim – posted to the county website – to helicopter business owners reads. “I am convening a meeting with all local helicopter tour operators and tour partners to discuss noise mitigation options. My goal is that we develop a solution that enables you to continue your profitable operations showing guests our beautiful island while respecting the communities and wildlife your operations affect.”
An administration officials said some seven companies were represented at Tuesday’s meeting with the mayor, including some from other islands. Kim’s office said they talked about investing in noise reduction technology, as well as varying routes and altitude. The tour operators told the mayor’s office that they are developing an online system to identify noise hot spots and to address noise complaints from the community.
The next step will be a meeting with the community, Kim’s office said, although nothing is scheduled yet.