Letters | 5-28-14


Talk to your neighbors to solve problems

Sometime back there were a spate of letters regarding a resident who was disturbed on one occasion by the noise of a rich neighbor’s helicopter. The obvious question was: Why not just call the neighbor to let him know the noise is disturbing you?

As evidence that talking to your neighbors still works in our friendly little community, I present my experience with the air tours that started creating a noise issue in Kailua-Kona starting around 2008. Shortly after the state Airports Division declared a noise abatement area (voluntary avoidance zone) around Kailua-Kona in 2012, most of the companies conducting tours or pilot training over the most densely populated part of West Hawaii ceased or greatly reduced their flights over the residential area. Paradise Helicopters, however, was continuing to expand its very successful business.

While many residents barely noticed the frequent flights over town, others were disturbed by the noise and even found that it triggered emotional responses related to past life events. Was the company malicious and uncaring, or just unaware that even when flying well above the Federal Aviation Administration-mandated altitude it was creating enough noise to disturb some residents? I called up the company and had a short and cordial chat with operations manager Danny Sarner, who had not been notified of the noise abatement area by the state. From that day, the skies over Kailua-Kona have been blissfully quiet. Here’s a big mahalo to Paradise Helicopters, and to all the aircraft operators who are showing the consideration to avoid residential areas when they fly.

We are indeed fortunate to have such caring businesses in our community that are willing to adjust their operations, at some cost and inconvenience to themselves, in order to kokua their neighbors. It’s something I keep in mind when recommending activities to visitors.

Doug Perrine

Kailua-Kona