A comprehensive meeting was held on Sept. 22 2016 with the FAA and members of HICoP Board. We were asked to meet with Tour Helicopter Operators to work on a long term solutions to the every growing public concerns of Tour Helicopter over our communities.
On October 4, 2016 members of the HICoP Board met with Tour Helicopter Operates to discuss alternative routes that could lessen their impact on Hawaii Island Residents. After presenting numerous videos of their impact on our communities, a more detailed discussion ensued. ...Read More
Prior to 2012, just a few Tour Helicopters flights could be seen in the Mountain View area, however starting in the spring of 2012 the Tour Helicopters started flying more frequently. Today, as many as EIGHTY flights daily can be seen over Hilo community, and begin prior to 8:00 A.M. and last until 6:45 P.M. in the summer. The Tour flights occur in both good and bad weather, and many times are low due to heavy cloud cover. As of 2014, there are several Helicopter Tour Companies that operate thru our community including, Safari, Blue Hawaiian, Sunshine, Paradise, Tropical and others.
The frequent noise caused by low flying Tour Helicopters affect all of us in this area as well as our breeding cows, sheep and goats, and the nesting endangered Hawaiian Hawk (`Io) and Hawaiian Owl (Pueo) in this area. The constant noise of Tour Helicopters can vary, and some helicopter designs are VERY LOUD.
We have contacted the FAA Flight Standards Office about low flying Tour Helicopters on numerous occasions and always get the same response. They first ask us if it is CLOUDY. Then, proceed to take down the information and let us know someone will look into the matter. We have never directly been contacted by anyone from the FAA, however we have spoken to both Kyle and Darett with the FAA who have called the Tour Helicopter Companies on our behalf. This helped for a few day and bingo, right back to the same old ways.
Because the FAA has no personnel on the Big Island to insure that Tour Helicopters operate at the correct elevations, they basically do as they please, especially on weekends and holidays. When a complaint is received by the FAA office, they dispatch someone from Oahu, using commercial airlines, to investigate the complaint, that is, if they have the manpower. Most times they just send out a Form Letter stating insufficient evidence for enforcement. We have never received any definative infomation from the FAA regarding Tour Helicaport flights, all we received was a generic Low Flying Brochure.
WE WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT UNTIL SOMETHING IS DONE ABOUT THIS INFECTION IN OUR COMMUNITY!