U.S. Representative Don Beyer (D-VA) on Friday held a press conference with Jeffery Smith, Vice President of Operations for the Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC), and John Shea of the Helicopter Association International (HAI) to announce a pilot program for a new helicopter noise complaint system for the National Capital Region. They were joined by Arlington County Board Members Libby Garvey and Takis Karantonis.
A 2021 report by the General Accounting Office (GAO) originally requested by Beyer and his colleagues recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) “develop a mechanism to exchange helicopter noise information with operators in the D.C. area.” The just-announced pilot program was developed with this recommendation in mind, and will be evaluated by FAA for potential permanent adoption after a 60-day trial run.
“For years my constituents have steadily complained of disruptive helicopter noise in the National Capital Region, and I have worked hard with colleagues and regional partners to address those concerns and reduce this noise. The just-announced helicopter noise complaint system meets a key recommendation made by the GAO report my colleagues and I requested: that the FAA develop a mechanism to track helicopter noise complaints in the Washington, D.C. area.
“It is important to note that this system is a pilot program, and its success depends on our community. Anyone with a helicopter noise complaint can submit it online at plainenoise.com/dcmetro/, by phone at 877-209-3200, or via mobile app. Providing as much information as possible when leaving a complaint is crucial – details will help to review and process the complaint.
“I am hopeful that this pilot program will prove to be a strong first step in carrying out recommendations developed with community input to reduce helicopter noise in Northern Virginia and across our region, and I will continue to work with colleagues and regional leaders and agencies to reduce helicopter noise in our skies.”
Residents in the National Capital Region will be able to submit noise concerns via webform, iPhone and Android-compatible mobile app, or voicemail at the noise complaint hotline at 877-209-3200. Residents are encouraged to provide as much information as possible when submitting a complaint. Using available flight track data, the system will accurately identify likely aircraft generating concerns and all associated data.
Beyer is an active member of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus.