Torrance Airport Helicopter Routes Questioned

Many of the helicopter operators, like the fixed-wing operators, have objected to the proposed changes because of serious safety concerns about mixing the two types of traffic and the great difficulty of seeing and avoiding helicopters in the absence of sufficient geographic and/or altitude separation.

Editor Daily Breeze

Re: “FAA unsure of helicopter route plans” 4/21/2011, by staff writer Nick Green

How is the City of Torrance going to pay for a consultant to study the helicopter “noise problem?” (See “Torrance shuffles funds as revenues for year fall short” in the same issue.) Two years ago, when revenues were much higher, the council refused to hire a consultant to verify the Airport Commission’s recommendation (www.taainfo.org) on reducing noise by reviewing its jet fuel ban—because it couldn’t afford to do so.

The article claims that Pat Carey has “talked to both (helicopter and aircraft) groups now and everyone is on the same sheet of music.” I have been a Torrance Airport aircraft operator for 36 years. Very few of the pilots I know have talked to Pat about this issue and even fewer of those using the airport have been involved. Many of the helicopter operators, like the fixed-wing operators, have objected to the proposed changes because of serious safety concerns about mixing the two types of traffic and the great difficulty of seeing and avoiding helicopters in the absence of sufficient geographic and/or altitude separation. Readers should note that the Torrance Airport Commission voted unanimously to REJECT these changes because of these safety concerns.

The FAA has both the responsibility and the expertise for evaluating changes to airport traffic patterns—not the City of Torrance.

Jim Gates
Redondo Beach, CA

 

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