Helicopter Association International
 Noise Abatement Training CD

Click here to download Noise Abatement Training CD
The Fly Neighborly section on HAI’s www.rotor.org web site provides information about Fly Neighborly, including manufacturer-recommended Noise Abatement Procedures for many helicopter models and information on the HAI Noise Abatement Training program that will help in recognizing:

  • the impact operations have on noise
  • the dangers of not addressing noise concerns
  • the primary noise sources on a helicopter
  • which noise sources dominate each helicopter flight regime
  • the effect that distance has on sound
  • the effects of temperature, humidity, and wind on sound
  • the impacts of terrain on sound
  • the steps manufacturers have taken to reduce helicopter noise
  • new design features being examined for future noise reduction
  • the need for noise abatement
  • how pilot attitude factors into noise abatement
  • general guidelines for reducing helicopter noise
  • the role of associations in establishing and enforcing noise abatement procedures

Public Acceptance
Operators of helicopters are sensitive to community concerns. They address those concerns in the following ways, among others:

  • By implementing proactive measures, such as those described in HAI’s Fly Neighborly Program, which help reduce noise impacts to the community.
  • By responding to a citizen complaint in order to assure the citizen that you hear their concerns and are reducing noise impacts when possible.
  • By providing informational materials to the public. A tri-fold pamphlet, similar to this one, but specifically aimed at the public/local community is available from HAI. Copies for hand-out or mail‑out can be obtained by visiting Fly Neighborly.com.

Handling Inquiries/Complaints
In handling citizen inquiries/complaints, most operators: 

  • Maintain a current fact sheet and provide accurate and up to date information.
  • Make a commitment to the caller to follow up when appropriate.
  • Thoroughly investigate the cause of the concern. Consider a face-to-face meeting.
  • Provide available materials/information.

By establishing standard procedures, operators can address inquiries/complaints effectively and professionally. For help in doing this, operators can go to Fly Neighborly.com and download the powerpoint presentation ‘Responding to Community Concerns about Helicopter Noise and Operations.’

Highlights From HAI’s Fly Neighborly Program 

  • Fly at an altitude that is as high as practical.
  • Avoid residential areas when possible.
  • Fly over industrial areas and major roadways to mask the sound of helicopters.
  • Avoid late night/early morning flights.
  • Fly at an altitude that is as high as possible over scenic and recreation areas such as parks and beaches.
  • Identify noise sensitive areas and adjust routes to avoid them to the extent possible.
  • Adhere to published noise abatement approach/departure procedures when flying in and out of airports and heliports.

"As professional pilots, we are sensitive to the environment. We avoid over-flying residential neighborhoods and fly as high as safety permits and our work allows. Whether it be news gathering, law enforcement, traffic watch, sightseeing or charter flying, we recognize that helicopters make noise and how that noise will affect our neighbors below. Educating both the pilots and the community is the process by which we will achieve compatibility.” Professional Helicopter Pilots Association Headquarters: Burbank, California

Public Perception

As operations increase, more residents have   become concerned and are complaining about low-flying helicopters. Airport neighbors and residents near flyways and recreational areas have become more vocal about helicopter activity. Their complaints center around noise and safety issues, although invasion of privacy and perceived lack of control regarding aircraft operations seem to add to their frustration.

Why Flying Neighborly Is Important

Environmental issues are the forefront of every business today, and the helicopter industry is no exception. We all want peace and quiet at home and in our neighborhoods. Safety is always a helicopter pilot’s first concern. Flying neighborly is also a concern. It is the key to improving public perception and fostering public acceptance of helicopters.

"Communication between the public and helicopter operators is key to understanding any negative impact our operations may have on our neighbors. Understanding and compassion on both sides of this equation, will result in mitigation of any conflict.” Dave Chevalier
CEO, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

Fly Neighborly Program Success
The HAI’s Fly Neighborly Program is a voluntary noise reduction program. It has been successful, when followed and made an integral part of daily operations, in reducing noise complaints and winning public acceptance.

"As part of the original team that launched the HAI Fly Neighborly Program in 1982 I have monitored its progress on a continuing basis. I am happy to report it has been accepted internationally and has the full support of helicopter operators, regional associations, manufacturers, pilots, and communities. As I have stated previously, just flying safely and in compliance with regulations is not enough. We must also Fly Neighborly, it is in the best interest of everyone.” Matt Zuccaro President, HAI

For more information, please contact

1920 Ballenger Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22314-2898
Phone: (703) 683-4646
Fax: (703) 683-4745
E-mail: flyneighborly@rotor.com

Copyright © 2018 Helicopter Association International
Helicopter Association International
1920 Ballenger Avenue, 4th Flr., Alexandria, VA 22314-2898 | T 703-683-4646 | F 703-683-4745 | info@rotor.org

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