Hynes to Host Helicopter Forum Wednesday

by ARLnow.com February 22, 2011 at 8:45 am 3,028 38 Comments

Mary Hynes is a busy lady.

Hynes, the current vice-chair of the Arlington County Board, serves on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, recently joined the Metro Board of Directors, and is the Aviation Policy Liaison to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. On any given day, Hynes might be dealing with transportation issues below ground, above ground and in the sky.

On Wednesday, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., the multi-talented Hynes will host a community forum about helicopter noise. It’s a follow-up to meetings Hynes hosted in September and November, during which a number of residents voiced concerns about the noise generated by low-flying government helicopters.

Tomorrow’s meeting will discuss a proposed system for allowing more community input into helicopter issues.

Along with Hynes, the forum will include representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration, a representative from the Eastern Region Helicopter Association and a member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

The meeting will be held in the Arlington County board room, on the third floor of 2100 Clarendon Boulevard.

  • KArlington

    If helicopter noise bothers you, go live in the sticks. It’s part of our urban village-next-to-military-saturated-location charm.

    • Westover

      Due to the “no fly zone” we have it pretty good even. Lots of places far outside the Beltway that have far more rotorwinged traffic, they get commercial as well as military, police and medi-vac traffic.

  • charlie

    an absolute waste of time. gratuitous pandering.
    if you think Richmond doesn’t care about Arlington politics, I can bet the Pentagon cares even less.
    It will all fall under “national security”. We are the center of the national war machine economy. Please get real folks.
    go ahead and talk, nothing will, or should, change.

    • Westover

      The Pentagon actually does care about being a good neighbor and have tried to adjusted their flights to have the least impact as possible.

      • Burger

        True. But this meeting amounts to nothing unless the Pentagon sends a representative to the meeting. From the post it doesn’t look like they are so it is just a waste of time to let people vent with the knowing of those holding the event know it will result in zero changes.

        • borf

          So is it “true” or not? Make up your mind.

          What’s wrong with a meeting to discuss what can be done?

          You know what’s really useless? A bunch of people on a blog constantly whining about every little thing. Noisier than helicopters.

  • G. Clifford Prout

    Reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. Important – Unimportant This whole issue reall is unimportant.

    `That’s very important,’ the King said, turning to the jury. They were just beginning to write this down on their slates, when the White Rabbit interrupted: `Unimportant, your Majesty means, of course,’ he said in a very respectful tone, but frowning and making faces at him as he spoke.

    `Unimportant, of course, I meant,’ the King hastily said, and went on to himself in an undertone, `important–unimportant– unimportant–important–‘ as if he were trying which word sounded best.

    Some of the jury wrote it down `important,’ and some `unimportant.’ Alice could see this, as she was near enough to look over their slates; `but it doesn’t matter a bit,’ she thought to herself.

    • borf


  • NArl

    So let me get this straight she cares about the helicoptor noise but not the fact that a fire truck doesn’t fit down a street in the county. I hope people vote her out of office this next election. Her priorities are not right, safety first then will work on the noise issue.

  • South Walter Reed

    Honest question: Is there *ANYTHING* an Arlington elected official can do without the grumps on this blog complaining? How is working with stakeholders on helicopter noise a bad thing?

    • charlie

      let’s turn the question around —
      if the “right” person complains about a helicopter, are they more likely to get a meeting with a board member than the “wrong” person? What about all the people who are NOT BOTHERED by the helicopters or ACCEPT them as part of the real estate decision they made to live close to the Pentagon.
      They are there, they are loud, they annoy me, but I chose to live here.

      • local


        You are just as welcome to go to the forum Wednesday night and say that you don’t mind the noise. Feel free.

        • charlie

          the silent majority is content.

          • local

            As long as remain silent, don’t whine about those who don’t.

  • Jerry Garcia

    I think there is something in the water man.

  • I’ve lived in Arlington for 24 years and the sound of heliocopters has never bothered me. Airplane noise does not bother me either. I actually enjoy both sounds – we are protected by our military and we have a fantastic airport that takes me everywhere I want to go.

    People love to complain. Another part of living in Arlington – I’ve gotten used to that too – although I like it much less the sounds of choppers and planes.

    • local

      I think it’s great that we are protected by a military and all that. But the noise still bothers me. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

      • Blah

        It’s not like the helicopters flying over are protecting us. They aren’t gunships and this isn’t Iraq.

        I think they can be more sensitive to residents needs after hours.

        • Westover

          You might be surprised at who is flying over head, but the majority of the low flying helos over the area are Medivac flights, so in a way they are protecting us. The military does a pretty good job of sticking to flying over the river and highways.

          • Blah

            I live right on 395 actually. You’re right in that, there are helicopters that fly along the highway, but there are plenty that fly perpendicular to 395 too. I don’t know if these are Medivac or not. Most of the time, they fly so low, my whole fourth floor apartment shakes and it sounds like it’s trying to make a landing on the roof of my building.

          • Westover

            Pentagon City I assume? Those guys are flying down Joyce St or Arlington Ridge Road to get to the river around the DCA flight pattern. There is not much more that can be safely done. If further down 395 you probably have them following Rt & or Glebe by your house, not highways, but still major roads.

  • Westoverite

    Agree…it is not a bad thing.

    But, calling Hynes “multi-talented” because she was appointed to many boards (in a year when her seat is up for election) seems overdoing it.

  • Lou

    I heard over the weekend that Congress is close to a deal to ease the perimeter restrictions at KDCA even more. I’m surprised more people are not asking about that instead of helicopter noise.

    • charlie

      yep huge issue. going to pass. moran and webb aren’t doing a thing to stop it.
      more plans — five a day.

  • Hynes couldnt get a telephone pole blocking the road moved, so you think she can solve this problem?

  • SaveDaveMcKenna

    There’s noise and then there’s rotor wake that nearly shakes pictures off the walls.

  • Bender

    The absurdities just keep piling up.

    Helicopter noise and heavy through traffic and many other issues are what you get when you put Arlington right next to a military installation and between D.C. and the rest of the world.

    If Arlington government didn’t want these problems, it should have built Arlington somewhere else.

    • local

      Um, if there’s a possibility that the military can reduce noise without hindering its mission, why shouldn’t we ask? Why is it always an either-or? This is why we have meetings and such, to work things out. Yet you’re deciding the issue before it’s even started.

      • Westover

        They all ready have, now all the is left is the Sound of Freeedom!

  • Frank

    if you dont like it…………MOVE…..

    • david

      What a great suggestion Frank. But then we’d be berated by people for living out in the sticks and having to drive into work which causes traffic on 395. And the only logical solution for that is to move back into Arlington to be closer to our jobs. It’s truly an endless cycle from which there is no escape.

  • Blah

    I haven’t complained, but I might go to this meeting. I hear no less than 4 helicopters per day fly right over my apartment. Sometimes it even gets close to double digits. At times, I feel like I’m in Vietnam and I should see rice paddies outside.

    The 12AM weekday helicopter is my favorite.

  • Virginia^2

    For me, helicopter and plane noise is unnoticeable compared to the fire sirens waking me up at 3am to warn the two people driving along Fairfax Drive. The absolute worst annoyance, however, is the CONSTANT barrage of car honking all day; do horns even serve a safety purpose anymore?

    I know, I know, “if you don’t like _______, MOVE”

    • Bender

      Sorry, absolute worst annoyance is actually the ear-piercing sound of a pile-driver going full blast at 8 a.m., an all too common experience in hyper-development Arlington.

      • Bender

        Those damn leaf-blowers are second worst annoyance. Maybe first, since I hear them all the time in the early morning hours during the spring/summer/fall.

        • local

          Leaf blowers should be banned. Buy a damn rake.

    • Westover

      Virginia^2, the law requires that emergency vehicles use their siren when they have their lights on going to an emergency. Even if it was not the law, I figure that lawyers would require it due to liablity reasons.

  • Bringmetheyuppies

    Obviously this bothers some more than others. At my home the helicopters rattle the windows and seemingly foundation of the whole damn house. It’s a bit frightening. And I’m all with the person who spoke of the sirens. Some days I feel like I live in the middle of a war zone with all the sirens blaring.


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