Helicopter Noise Growing Problem in NoVa

By David Schultz WAMU 88.5 News
|  Thursday, Sep 23, 2010  |  Updated 8:30 AM EDT
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Helicopter Noise Growing Problem in NoVa

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WASHINGTON - AUGUST 6: (AFP OUT) Marine One leaves with U.S. President Barack Obama after a visit to Gelberg Signs in the Takoma neighborhood August 6, 2010 in Washington, DC. Obama called for Congress to pass the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act during his visit to Gelberg Signs. (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)

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Military helicopters are a common sight in the D.C. area. But some local homeowners say helicopters and the ear-splitting noise they make are becoming far too common.

Joe Ruth has grown accustomed to the sound of a helicopter a few hundred feet overhead.

"That powerful woompf, woompf, woompf," he said. "You can almost feel the air pressure."

Ruth lives in north Arlington, about equidistant from CIA headquarters in Langley and the Pentagon. He said that sometimes the helicopters shake his house.

"Oh yeah, you can feel the vibrations," he said. "If you're in the path of a helicopter you can really feel them coming."

Some other Northern Virginia homeowners like Ruth are growing frustrated. Several dozen attended a meeting in Arlington Wednesday with representatives from the military and the Federal Aviation Administration to talk about potential solutions.

FAA manager Bob Laser said there really aren't any. He can't even provide them with a warning about upcoming flights.

"The military operations that are being conducted in this area are not joyrides," Laser said. "They are bona fide missions, a lot of them that can't be spoken about."

Laser said helicopters crossing the Potomac River have to fly low to avoid airplanes landing at Reagan National. And with the airport getting busier and busier, homeowners should expect more noise.

Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

Copyright 2010 WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.

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