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Phinney Ridge resident concerned about increased noise from tourist helicopters over the neighborhood

Sanjay wrote to tell us he’s concerned about the increasing noise from Helicopters Northwest and Seattle HeliTours, which fly low over the neighborhood.

Have you noticed a lot of noise from helicopters this past summer? That is because two helicopter tourist companies now advertise that they fly over Green Lake and the Ballard Locks. To fly between these sites the helicopters fly over Phinney Ridge. Since our neighborhood is, in fact, a ridge, the ground rises up and the helicopters fly at a very low elevation as they crest Phinney Ridge. The tour company’s web sites gush that the helicopters fly as low as 500 feet above the ground.

How exciting this must be for the passengers, but the result for our neighborhood is noise. This noise is harming the quality of life in our neighborhood.

What can we do about it? I contacted some of our Seattle and King County representatives to ask about what can be done. Larry Phillips replied to me saying “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates noise from low-flying aircraft, such as helicopters. The Seattle Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) can be reached by phone at (425) 227-2813 or by email.”

He’s wondering if others would like to discuss the issue and possible solutions. You can email him at [email protected].