|Welcome to the Helicopter Noise Coalition|
|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 01 August 2007|
How can we be against helicopters? When we see those sturdy Sea Kings and their winchmen hauling the elderly and infirm up out of their flooded Gloucestershire homes in July 07, we can only applaud.
Truth is, these essential flights are a minority of rotary-winged movements.
The roots of our Coalition were established in 2006 by angry residents living in the noise sewer of Wycombe Air Park in Buckinghamshire, UK. We quickly recognised that all we could expect to achieve by complaining about intrusive helicopter noise is the possible re-routing, and therefore re-dumping, of their unsociable noise detritus. No offers of a reduction in numbers of flights and/or flight-free time slots at weekends. Nothing up for negotiation.
When we researched our noise problem we quickly discovered that it is suffered widely and severely. Many communities have already registered to join us who share our Aims. We will provide to our politicians national hard facts detailing exactly the severity of this nuisance. No more excuses from them that evidence is "hearsay" or "anecdotal".
We seek to provide a national platform for action against helicopter noise. Everyone acknowledges that helicopter noise is a major problem for many thousands, if not millions, of people - and it can have a deeply negative effect on communities.
Join us if your area suffers when repetitive helicopter training flights shatter the peace, when leisure flights buzz you, when maintenance pilots cut flight track corners, when business flights wake the family, when rotor noise disturbs the sleep of essential night-shift workers such as nurses.
Join us if you, too, are fed up with what appear to be self-satisfied fob-offs from Air Park or Heliport management. Naturally, these company managers are paid to defend and promote their corporate business objectives. It is certainly not our intention to demean them personally.
Given the unacceptable noise products of their Air Park/Heliport services, how can they respond otherwise? We have routinely received apologies for noise blasts on those balmy summer weekends when trainee helicopter pilots have repetitively flown at very low altitude and off-track, causing conversations to stop, church services to be interrupted, or horses to bolt.
Typically, at subsequent Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meetings, individuals who may have finally lifted the phone to complain are described as "nimbys" or "serial complainers". Then comes the management's Nuremberg Defence of following instructions, or terms of their lease, with the offer to talk the problem over to see what can be done. Of course, without flight-free time slots, or reductions in flight movements, or sanctions with teeth to fine or ban errant pilots, we may guess where such chats may lead. Nice PR, but status quo ante.
Been offered studies with operators or manufacturers? Then you're off into the long grass. What's needed is law change. The balance of what goes on in the skies above us due to non-essential helicopter flights needs re-balancing in favour of affected residents, whether in city centres or rural locations.
Westminster, please take note. There are votes in environmental issues.
It seems incredible that, in 2007, when serious discussion of man's stewardship of the environment is a major topic at the highest levels of government, there is no legal protection for communities adversely affected by intrusive helicopter noise.
We work with other well-established groups such as AEF (www.aef.org.uk) and through them, UECNA (www.uecna.com). Their range of activities deals with all aircraft types, fixed- as well as rotary-winged, and includes current environmental hot potato issues such as emissions in the context of the aviation industry.
Our focus is purely on helicopter noise. We are not going to go away.
Check out our aims. If you sympathise with them, join us. We are sick and tired of being divided and conquered. We want to bring your voice, with ours, as one to the attention of our parliamentary representatives at Westminster and Brussels who alone can effect the changes we seek to the laws governing aviation.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 August 2007 )|