To my fellow PHPA members:
Last night, December 14, 2015, your newly elected Board of Directors nominated me to fill the position of President of our great organization. I am honored to have been considered, and immediately accepted the call-to-duty.
Over the past two years, your Board has been extremely active on your behalf on many fronts. Although we attempted to keep the membership informed about all the hard work we engaged in, we realized after the fact that we had often fallen short on this endeavor. One of my main goals over the next two years of my presidency will be to do a better job of keeping everyone informed. Our newsletter is better-than-ever, thanks to Matt West, who has been active on the Board since last year. Keep an eye out for future editions.
PHPA Board members have attended nearly sixty (60) collaborative meetings with the FAA and the Los Angeles Area Helicopter Noise Coalition (LAAHNC) to address community concerns regarding helicopter noise in the Los Angeles basin. Due to our efforts, the FAA sent a letter to Congress that significant progress on this issue had been achieved. As such, we have, at least for the time-being, successfully headed off the attempt by the LAAHNC to force Congress to mandate the FAA regulate helicopter operations beyond the current FAR’s. This is not over by any stretch of the imagination. The LAAHNC continues to push forward with their goal in getting us regulated. We will continue to fight. Your safety will be the main goal!
Your Board has representation on the helicopter complaint review data committee which meets monthly with the FAA and LAAHNC to look into the complaints filed by the automated noise complaint system which has been active for about nine months. We also sit on the committee to discuss an FAA proposed voluntary off-shore helicopter route.
We are actively involved in the fight to re-open the heliport at LAX. Due to the efforts of the Board, we were able to garner support on this fight from both aviation and non-aviation related business groups. There is a great deal more work to be done on this issue as well. We have met with the executive staff of the Hollywood Bowl in order to assist them in educating pilots about how and when to avoid the Bowl during concert season. We expect to hear soon how effective our efforts were this past season.
Over the past year, the PHPA has co-hosted and will continue to co-host informative regional helicopter pilot summit meetings to discuss these and many more topics of interest to all of you. We published informative brochures which highlight the noise sensitive areas in the basin in order for us to, “Get educated, not regulated!” I look forward to seeing you at future meetings and PHPA events.
Many challenges lie ahead for the helicopter community. Rest assured your Board will be here, fighting on your behalf! I encourage the membership to become more involved, too. This is an all-volunteer Board and we can use your help to keep fighting for your benefit. I promise to keep the membership up to speed on these and the multitude of other activities that are done on everyone’s behalf. I look forward to working together with all of you as we go forward and hope to see you at our upcoming functions! Fly safely.
Morrie C. Zager
President, Professional Helicopter Pilots Association