Front Page

Powered by Unisys


October 05, 2015 07:40am
Tropical Storm Oho Not Expected to Become Hurricane
  • Latest News
  • Sections
  • Videos
  Big Island News & Information Hub
> Business View All

Nonprofit Seeks to End Overland Tour Helicopter Routes

Posted August 7, 2017, 02:21 PM HST Updated August 7, 2017, 03:18 PM HST

HICop logoThe noise impacts of existing overland tour helicopter routes negatively impact Big Island residential communities, according to a press release from the nonprofit Hawaii Island Coalition Malama Pono. These noise impacts could be eliminated if tour helicopters followed the Hawai‘i Island Offshore Helicopter Route (HIOHR), the release stated.

These existing overland tour helicopter routes fly over noise-sensitive residential communities and other noise-sensitive designated areas where tour helicopter operations are not in compliance with the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation Airports Division-required TOUR AIRCRAFT OPERATORS PERMIT as specified in Hawai‘i Administrative Rules, Airports Division, Chapter 34, TOUR AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS AT PUBLIC AIRPORTS, according to the HICoP board.

Existing overland routes impact a large number of people on Hawai‘i Island, including constituents, residents, tourists, visitors, businesses and more (see below).

“This incessant near constant tour helicopter noise nuisance pollution impacts the quality of life, the health, the use and enjoyment of property and the value of property,” said the HICoP board.

HIOHR eliminates these impacts, the board said. The offshore route also has many benefits for the helicopter tour operators.

The offshore route is the method the Federal Aviation Administration uses to remove helicopter noise from islands.

“The offshore route is in use today on another island and has been overwhelmingly upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the second highest court in the land, below the Supreme Court,” the board said.

There is no legislation needed to implement the HIOHR on Hawai‘i Island.  The FAA has the (sole) authority and the responsibility to immediately implement the HIOHR.


“The incessant, near-constant tour helicopter noise has been going on for 30 to 40 years,” the HICoP board wrote. “It is long past time to restore to Hawai‘i Island the serenity we all need and deserve.

The press releases also stated that more than 50% of the members of the Senate and the House voted for HIOHR to become  law in 2012, mandating that tour helicopter operators entering airspace over a national park report each and every time they entered a park; at four national parks, the operators must pay a $25 fee per entry.

The reporting is mandated but voluntarily done and there is no verification the reporting is correct or complete.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has more tour helicopter overflights than any other individual national park in the nation.

According to a 2016 report for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, 15,489 tour helicopter entries to the park. There are many other non-reported helicopter operations on Hawai‘i Island, including those that do not accurately report, those that do not enter the park, those that operate in other areas of Hawai‘i Island, charter flights that enter the park (or not), administrative helicopter operations and more, according to HICoP.

Go to hicop.org and click on the change.org link to see the comments made by Big Island residents, sign the petition and comment to Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, and Reps. Gabbard and Hanabusa.  The petition asks the Hawai‘i’s Congressional Delegation to implore the FAA to implement the HIOHR on Hawai‘i Island as soon as possible.

About HICoP
The sole purpose of HICoP is to address tour helicopter noise on Hawai‘i Island and advocate for a meaningful solution to return serenity to Hawai‘i Island, free from tour helicopter noise. HICoP advocates for the FAA solution for helicopter noise on islands, FAA Rule 14 CFR Part 93, which mandates an offshore route. HICoP advocates for the Hawai‘i Island offshore Helicopter Route ( HIOHR).


Recommend this Article

Weekly Newsletter



Michael Carnahan First time in a long time i have said " Mahalo " to any politiciansAugust 07, 2017 02:59pm
Leilani Marchand It's about time!August 07, 2017 03:03pm
Kawaipio Tiare Border-Viritua Can we please start with them damn Coqui frogs🙏🏼August 07, 2017 03:08pm
Lynn Wilke Von Boeckmann Oh, please! Helicopters fly over us all the time. Never an inconvenience, never a problemAugust 07, 2017 03:34pm
Helen Jager I sure would love for them to NOT fly over our property up in the Acres!! They could fly over the Puna reserve instead!!!!!August 07, 2017 03:43pm
Gabriel Paniagua How about we include green harvest too.August 07, 2017 03:44pm
Byron Matthews Tourism is one of two major industries left in hawaii, don't ruin that tooAugust 07, 2017 03:48pm
Ron Parrett Oh stop it people. Just stop it. Get over it. Not everything is about "YOU". I bet the people complaining haven't even lived here 10 years. Let alone 30 or 40.August 07, 2017 04:01pm
Denise Jones I lived on Kaua'i for 45 years, now 2 years here in the Big Island. Kaua'i has had flight restrictions over inhabited areas for years with positive results. Perhaps their policies can work here as well.August 07, 2017 04:54pm
Shylo Saragosa Yeah let's ruin one of our only major industries in Hawaii with more regulation, whilst government makes money off more operating fees & fines! Time would be better spent solving our homeless problem, or ways to diversify our stagnant economy!August 07, 2017 05:15pm
Tom Barnes My parents have been out in Papa'ikou from 76'-79', then from 83' to current. I left for college in 89' and get back a few times a year. i've noticed an increase in helicopter traffic for the better part of 20 years, in addition to small private props and ultralight or experimental aircraft. The helos seem to either fly over the ocean, when it's raining or cloudy, so the occupants can get a glimpse of the coastline, or they are 1,000'+ up and have an incredible view of the Hamakua coast. To be honest, the jets make more noise than the helos and prop-jobs.August 07, 2017 05:18pm
Samantha Rosati I love it the helicopters that sound is tourist money baby maybe nobody should come with their monies to spend..all over the island...August 07, 2017 06:35pm
Deanne Goddard-Marino They don't need to fly over houses about time.August 07, 2017 07:52pm
Nohelani Javellana Bento Daves PanadijasAugust 07, 2017 08:40pm
Eli Caraveli It's not even winter yet and the Snowflakes are here. Again...August 08, 2017 05:41am
William Kraft But still okay for green harvestAugust 08, 2017 05:52am
Susan Mirels I can't complain too much because coming from Oahu where the "buzz" seems endless, the noise level here is minimalAugust 08, 2017 11:41am
Kahealani Gomes Sorry you live near an active volcano that some people will never see in their lifetime and most people save for years to come and see! And it just makes more business for our national park system, not to mention the towns that they are near!! If you don't like the noise...move to a quieter neighborhood away from the lavaAugust 08, 2017 12:17pm
John S Spurlock Ha haAugust 08, 2017 04:41pm

FairWind Big Island Ocean Guides
Voted #1 "Best Snorkel Cruise"