WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Government helicopters that are taking off and landing at the White House and the Pentagon make a lot of noise. Congressman Don Beyer of Northern Virginia says that noise has been the most common complaint he’s heard from his constituents since he took office six years ago.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted to include Congressman Beyer’s amendment to reduce government helicopter noise in the National Defense Authorization Act. If the Senate passes the NDAA, the Secretary of Defense will develop a so-called “noise inquiry website” on which citizens can make formal noise complaints. Ronald Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport have similar websites. The website will record the noise complaint on a map and export the information to an Excel spreadsheet.
The Secretary of Defense will also have to establish a helicopter noise abatement group, led by the Department of Defense, to collect data and indicate any trends.
Beyer says military helicopter noise is inevitable. “We think the military’s worked well with us. They try to stay above the big highways, up and down 395, up and down the river, especially, but they can’t always do that,” said Beyer. But when there are exceptions, Beyer says the government will have a formal way of collecting that data.