First Airplanes, Now Helicopters

First Airplanes, Now Helicopters

MCA moves on to helicopter noise complaints after success of aircraft noise abatement efforts.

Buoyed by its recent success in the battle against excessive aircraft noise over McLean, the McLean Citizens Association (MCA) is now setting its sights on a close cousin — helicopter noise.

The McLean Citizens Association first began to investigate the issue of aircraft noise several years ago, after hearing complaints from several residents. In particular, residents of the neighborhoods in the Langley Fork northern section of McLean seemed to be the most affected. In response to citizen complaints, the MCA Environment Parks and Recreation committee members contacted U.S> Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10) and asked for his assistance investigating the matter. Much to the MCA’s delight, Wolf was both expeditious and enthusiastic in his response; he promptly sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requesting that aircraft flight pattern data be released to the MCA Environment Parks and Recreation committee as soon as possible.

“Congressman Frank Wolf has provided the MCA with much support by arranging meetings with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority (MWAA) in his office and at the FAA radar facility at Vint Hill and at the National Airport control tower,” said Frank Crandall, co-chair of the MCA Environment Parks and Recreation committee. “In addition, the FAA and MWAA convened a meeting of the chief pilots of the commercial carriers operating to and from National Airport to review noise control procedures with them.”

Close examination of the flight pattern data revealed that the majority of noise being heard by local residents was coming from commercial airline traffic to and from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. However, the efforts made by Wolf and the McLean Citizens Association resulted in a promise by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to more strictly monitor the flight patterns of commercial airlines arriving and departing from National Airport.

During the McLean Citizen Association’s investigation into the issue of excessive aircraft noise, some residents came forward with complaints about helicopter noise. Based on his helpfulness on the previous issue, the MCA once again turned to Wolf for assistance.

“Congressman Wolf asked the MCA to send him more information on this problem and decided it would be most useful to hold a public forum on the helicopter noise problem,” said Crandall.

Subsequently, the May 24 McLean Citizens Association Annual Membership will address the issue of helicopter noise in the McLean area. Wolf has arranged for his chief of staff and his transportation expert to conduct a one-hour forum as part of the meeting. Wolf’s staff members will be accompanied by representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense, as well as representatives from other agencies involved in helicopter traffic.